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Oak Fire Update: 10% Containment, Highway 101 Still Closed

The Oak Fire as it grew on the afternoon of Tuesday September 7, 2020 [Picture by Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall]

According to a 7:00 pm update from Cal Fire Mendocino, the Oak Fire has burned 863 acres and is 10% contained. The incident update characterizes the expected full containment time as “unknown”.

Throughout the day, fire resources made progress “strengthening containment and constructing contingency lines,” as per the Cal Fire Incident update. The update said, “[f}irefighters were hindered by the steep rugged terrain however, the cooler than expected temperatures and minimal wind allowed them to make progress.”

Those cooler temperatures are partly due to the thick smoke from the August Complex blotting out the sun and shrouding Willits and much of Northern Mendocino County in darkness.

This video sent to MendoFever by Sheriff Kendall demonstrates the darkness that descended on Willits on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

The CalTrans Quick Map indicates Highway 101 is still closed to north and southbound traffic and there is “no estimated time for reopening of closure.”


  • Evacuation map
  • Evacuation centers at both the Willits High School and Baechtel Grove Middle School located at 1150 Magnolia Street in Willits.
  • For assistance with animals for evacuees, click here for more information.
  • Call center for questions about the fire: (707) 234-6052
  • Route around the closure. Roads are crooked and narrow. Please no vehicle over 40 feet.
Route around the Hwy 101 closure
The alternative route around the Highway 101 closure

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Educator🔸Reporter for KMUD/ Redheaded Blackbelt/Founder of Cold Case Mendocino🔹Local News Junkie

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