A vegetation fire southwest of Willits has resulted in a full wildland dispatch including ground and air resources.
The Bart Incident Commander reports the fire is currently 2-3 acres of burning grass growing at a moderate rate of spread.
The California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information page and scanner traffic indicates the fire is near the intersection of Black Bart Drive and Ridgewood Road.
UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: The Bart Incident Commander reported the fire has grown to ten acres, is growing at a moderate rate of spread, and structures are threatened by the blaze. He described the fire burning in oak woodland down a south slope and a southwest wind pushing it.
Four air tankers have been dispatched to the Bart Incident.
UPDATE 5:43 p.m.: Five additional engines have been requested for the Bart Fire.
UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Cal Fire Mendocino tweeted, “Initial Report of 10 acres of grass, moderate rate of spread, structures threatened, Willits, Ridgeview Rd cross of Black Bart Drive.”
Scanner traffic indicates Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies are reporting they are in the immediate area of the fire with an arson suspect.
Also, firefighters are indicating they may begin evacuating residents next to the Incident Command. The exact location is unclear but they referred to a 5400 block.
UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: The following. a timelapse of the Bart Fire from the AlertFire Webcam on top of Ridgewood Grade:
UPDATE 6:11 p.m.: Scanner traffic indicates deputies are still investigating an individual thought to be associated with the fire and suspected of committing arson. The suspect is described as an Indian, male adult, approximately 50-years-old and is associated with an abandoned vehicle in the area. He was last seen riding away on a bike.
UPDATE 6:19 p.m.: This picture was taken by Kyle Tripp of the Bart Fire at the fire’s beginning:
UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: According to a tweet by Cal Fire Mendocino, “Update: approx 15 acres of grass, structures threatened- Fire resources are at scene actively battling this fire: 11 Engines, 3 Water Tenders, 4 Hand Crews, 3 Dozers, 2 Chief Officers, 2 Helicopters, 4 Air Tankers and 1 Air Attack assigned- Willits, CA”
UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: The following situational awareness advisory was issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Nixle Alert system: “Situational Awareness – Wildfire in the vicinity of Willits 16000 Ridge View Rd and Black Bart Dr. Wildfire in the vicinity of Willits 16000 Ridge View Rd and Black Bart Dr, (Zone 1LLV24) No evacuation orders or warnings at this time. Please use caution and avoid the area. Please only Call 9 1 1 for emergencies.”
UPDATE 6:55 p.m.: Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Chief George Gonzalez tweeted, “Making excellent progress, fire holding around 20 acres! Some of the aircraft being released! Great Job!”
UPDATE 7:29 p.m.: The Bart Fire’s forward progress has been stopped, according to a Facebook post from the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Facebook page.
An Incident Update released by Cal Fire indicates that one outbuilding was destroyed by the fire.
An Incident Commander reported to dispatch the fire was approximately 13 acres in size while the Cal Fire Incident update said the fire was 20 acres.
The Facebook post states “fire resources will remain at scene working to build containment lines and extinguish hot spots.”