Thursday, December 7, 2023

[UPDATES] Willits’s Oak Fire Currently at 1000 Acres and Closes Highway 101


The Oak Fire which began about noon today northwest of Willits is now 1000 acres and has completely closed Hwy 101 in both directions. At least two structures have been destroyed.

Senator Mike McGuire tweeted, “Highway 101 is now closed in both directions in Mendocino County due to the #OakFire. Northbound closure: North end of the Willits Bypass. Southbound closure: Turnoff for Covelo at Route 162. No estimated time for reopening.”

The fire is 0% contained as of 5:13 p.m.

An evacuation map is being updated here.

UPDATE: 6:04 pm

According to a Tweet from Cal Fire Mendocino, the Oak Fire is “1000 acres (approx) and 0% containment. 2 Air Attacks 4 Air Tankers 2 Helicopters 18 Engines 4 Water Tenders 4 Dozers 4 Handcrews 61 support personnel Total Personnel: 232 Additional resources have been requested and are responding to the Oak Fire #CALFIREMEU”

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UPDATE: 6:26 pm

FlightRadar24.com’s tracking of the multiple air resources being utilized to fight the Oak Incident.

UPDATE: 7:05 pm

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told MendoFever the Oak Incident continues to burn but personnel on scene are starting to solidify containment lines. He said the most significant variable in the fire’s immediate future is the winds associated with tonight’s Red Flag Warning potentially pushing the fire southwest. He said evacuees have done a good job in their evacuation procedures.

Also, Caltrans offers this workaround to avoid the closure on Hwy 101: “A detour around the #OakFire to U.S. Highway 101 is available if northbound traffic takes Route 20 west to Route 1 north to Leggett. Southbound traffic can take the reverse or access Route 128. Please expect delays, and we will provide updates when available.”

Cal Trans’s recommended alternative route to avoid the Highway 101 closure associated with the Oak Incident

UPDATE: 7:16 pm

According to Mendocino County 2nd District Supervisor John Haschak, a second evacuation center for residents affected by the Oak Incident has opened up at Baechtel Grove Middle School located at 1150 Magnolia Street in Willits.

UPDATE: 7:33 pm

A Bay Area journalist Dylan Bouscher is near the Oak Incident taking photographs and captured this video of two vehicles burning.

UPDATE: 8:26 pm

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According to the Facebook page of Willits Unified School District, “Due to fire conditions WUSD schools will be closed on Tuesday Sept. 8th.”

UPDATE: 8:45 pm

The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance through a partnership with Flow Kana is offering space to any licensed cannabis farmers who had to evacuate their product from the areas affected by the Oak Incident: “EVACUEES: Flow Kana has space for product from evacuated licensed farms. First come first serve basis. Please contact Kevin at kevin@flowcannabis.co to arrange drop off and intake.”

UPDATE: 9:10 pm

From Mendocino County Public Health:

Shelter Open to Willits Area Oak Fire Evacuees Under COVID-19 Quarantine or Isolation Orders

Post Date: 09/07/2020 9:07 PM

If you live in the evacuation zone surrounding the Oak Fire north of Willits, and are currently under COVID-19 Isolation or Quarantine Orders from Mendocino County Public Health, please contact the Department Operations Center COVID-19 Shelter Hotline at (707) 472-2676 for further information and direction regarding this shelter. We have acquired emergency housing specifically for this purpose, provided to those under isolation and quarantine orders at no cost.

We urge you to evacuate safely, and maintain isolation and quarantine until you arrive at a safe location, such as the shelter.

From the Mendocino County Public Health Facebook Page

UPDATE: 9:49 pm

CBS’s Bay Area Affiliate KPIX were on scene of the Oak Incident capturing the power of the flames in the forest.

UPDATE: 10:59 pm

According to a Cal Fire Incident Update published on Instagram, the Oak Fire is thought to be 700 acres and 0% contained. The update said, the acreage was updated after more detailed mapping.” The update also stated only one confirmed structure has been destroyed and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

UPDATE: 9/8/2020 7:54 am

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According to California State Senator Mike McGuire’s Twitter account:

Pretty good night for the #OakFire. Big help: The worst case wind scenario didn’t materialize. Firefighters held the blaze from moving significantly south towards Willits/Brooktrails. A ton of work ahead, situation remains dangerous. Winds expected to pick up later today.

Earlier Chapter

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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