Wednesday, March 29, 2023

[UPDATE: Evacuated Areas and Roads Reopening] As the Sun Sets, the Broiler Fire Stands at 80 Acres with 20% Containment

A structure roaring with flames [Pictures by Matt LaFever]

As of this evening, Redwood Valley Broiler Fire has burned 80 acres, stands at 20% containment, and officially one structure was destroyed. Information published by Cal Fire Mendocino Unit in their evening “Incident Report” indicates the fire’s forward progress has stopped and approximately 80 structures were threatened and fire resources will remain at the scene overnight establishing control lines.

Smoke overtaking the roadway

Mandatory Evacuations are still in affect. In a conversation with MendoFever, Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told us these evacuations are vital due to potential flare ups and embers blowing in the wind as the evening sets. The evacuations are in place fore the area south of Uva Place from Highway 1010 to Linex Drive and South of Uva Drive. Also, Uva Drive south to Central Avenue to the Highway 101 off-ramp.

Zoom in to effectively see the evacuation zone

There are multiple road closures associated with the incident in the areas of Uva Drive and Highway 101, Uva Drive and Central Avenue, and West Road and Vineyard Oaks.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter has offered to take approximately 20 cats, 20 dogs, and 6 horses this evening and will be staffing their facilities starting at 7:00 p.m. The size of the facilities are limited and therefore the are asking affected families to house animals at family or friends if possible.

The Incident Update specifies the fire was located near Bel Arbres Road and Uva Drive and the cause is under investigation. It should be noted that scanner traffic at the beginning of the fire reported residents described someone mowing their lawn contributing to the start of the fire.

While on scene, this reporter witnessed at least two homes destroyed and one outbuilding. This is based on eyewitness accounts and Cal Fire is still assessing the fire area to get a sense of the overall damage. 

One of Cal Fire’s Blackhawk Helicopters dropping water on the flames

MendoFever spent the majority of this afternoon on scene of the Broiler Incident attempting to go on Facebook Live and update the initial article throughout the time on the ground. Unfortunately, data signal was weak in the area and the initial article and Facebook Live coverage was limited.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: The following information concerning repopulation of evacuated areas and roads reopening was posted to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

Re-population is occurring in the area of the Broiler Fire evacuation zone at this time except for the burn areas of West School Way at Uva Drive and Uva Drive at Forsythe Lane due to fire mop up activities.

All previous road closures have been removed but road closures may exist where fire mop activities are occurring so exercise situational awareness if traveling into the described areas.

Power is expected to be restored within the areas of re-population.

The shelter at the Mendocino College dance studio has been closed and anyone suffering housing displacement due to fire damage are being directed to call the American Red Cross at 1-866-272-2237.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
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 if you know a story that needs to be told.

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