Sunday, June 4, 2023

Wildfire in Redwood Valley Burns 23 Acres, Prompts Evacuations, and Destroys Two Outbuildings

The grass fire burning uphill [All pictures taken by Matt LaFever]

With the announcement from Cal Fire Mendocino that the forward progress of today’s Redwood Valley fire has stopped, first responders are taking inventory of the damage caused. The fire burned grass and oak woodland near the 5700 block of Redwood Valley’s Kirk Drive covering 23 acres, prompting evacuations along Black Bart Drive, destroying two outbuildings, and damaging another. Despite the fact the forward progress has stopped, multiple resources are still on site mopping up the fire.

Dubbed the “Kirk Incident,” the blaze prompted aerial firefighting resources with multiple helicopters dumping water and air-tankers dumping fire retardant in the skies above Highway 20.

Water being dumped on the fire from a firefighting helicopter

Redwood Valley Fire Department, resources from Brooktrials Fire Department, Cal Fire Mendocino unit, California Highway Patrol, and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were all on scene responding to the incident.

Cal Fire personnel shoring up the fire line

A review of scanner traffic during the incident indicates a reverse 911 was issued to announce evacuations in the area of Black Bart Drive to Potter Valley Road.

This images captures the breadth of the fire across the hillside

California Highway Patrol closed down Kirk Drive during the blaze to secure the road’s navigability during the firefighting efforts.

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  1. Great on scene reporting, Matt LaFever. Tragic that two homes were lost but at least we are seeing rapid deployment of resources (not always the case in prior years) and quick activation of evacuation warnings.

  2. Good Job , Matt !!
    I heard the aircraft taking off like crazy from the Ukiah Airport as I was coming out of Walmart mid afternoon. Everyone seemed oblivious ! I got on #101 North at the Talmage on ramp and could immediately see the smoke at what looked like the the Ju tirón of #20 and #101 or perhaps Calpella, I thought. I was pretty close and VERY HAPPY to see the response since I needed to go by there to get home. By the time I got to #20 I was grateful to see the Highway open and as I drove by, I saw aircraft heading back in and nearly no smoke.
    Good quick response by everyone…….No one needs a repeat of last year !
    I also saw two guys pull over on the South side of #20 for a looksee and they were both smoking cigarettes when they exited their vehicle.
    Please people , be on your toes !

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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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