The Green Fire, burning south of Hopland west of Highway 101 between the old railroad tracks and the Russian River, was reportedly spewing a thick column of black smoke when it was initially reported at 6:30 p.m.
The Green Fire’s Incident Commander Battalion Chief Nate Deurloo told us that within half an hour, Cal Fire air resources doused the flames with water halting its spread and as of 7:30 p.m. ground crews are mopping up.
Battalion Chief Duerloo said when Cal Fire first got eyes on the fire they saw two small spot fires burning between the Russian River and the old railroad tracks. In response, the helicopter dropped a hand crew nearby and soon began to douse the approximately one-quarter acre area with water.
With the aggressive air attack, the fire was quickly squelched and ground resources will continue to mop up the one-quarter acre fire into the evening.
Battalion Chief Duerloo said tonight’s firefighting efforts demonstrated the importance of air resources. He said one of Cal Fire’s goals is to “have aircraft over a fire within 20 minutes.” The location of the Green Fire was difficult to access for ground resources requiring the navigation of rural roads east of Mountain House Road, so when ground resources arrived, the fire was significantly beaten back by the air resources from above.
As to the cause of the fire, Battalion Chief Duerloo could not confirm there was a known homeless encampment in the area of the fire.
But, the property owner on scene told us an encampment has been developing in the location for a significant amount of time and surmised the fire started in the encampment.
Agencies that responded to the Green Fire included Cal Fire Mendocino Unit, Hopland Fire, Northern Sonoma County Fire District, and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.