Sunday, July 21, 2024

46 Structures Destroyed in Hopkins Fire; Those With Homes Still Standing Allowed to Return 


A fence on fire as homes burn in the background [All pictures by Matt LaFever]

Last night’s incident report from Cal Fire regarding the Hopkins Fire made public for the first time the number of structures destroyed by the blaze: a total of 30 homes and 16 non-residential structures. The 257 acre Hopland Fire is now 95% contained as of last night and Cal Fire announced all of the area’s mandatory evacuations have been downgraded to warnings allowing residents to return to those homes still standing.

In an update to the Mendocino County public, Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Chief George Gonzalez said the fire’s hot spots had been thoroughly suppressed and firefighters would nowbe working in “patrol status” monitoring for signs of reignition. Chief Gonzalez said dangers and hazards have been mitigated in the fire’s blueprint but warned, “There are still dangers.” 

Darci Antel, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Mendocino County, told residents repopulating the area that multiple supports would be provided by the County. Returning residents could expect to find “safe re-entry packets” at their property. Antel directed those affected by the fire to visit Mendocino County’s Hopkins Fire website where they can find essential resources such as food banks, senior care, social security information, food stamps, and other services that might be needed in the wake of a disaster. Residents in need are encouraged to call the County’s hotline at (707)234-6303 to answer any of their questions.

Firefighter dousing the remains of a home

1st District Supervisor Glen McGourty was at last night’s public address thanking first responders and assuring the victims of the fire that Mendocino County will “work to help you.”

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall said the fire was “tragic” and the “only good thing we can say is there was no loss of life.” He encouraged repopulating residents to “continue exercising situational awareness.” He reminded Mendocino County residents that “we’re not out of the woods yet”as the county is just now entering traditional fire season.

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A house engulfed in flames near the top of the ridge

The Cal Fire Incident Update published last night indicated utility workers would still be in the area of the fire as they work to repair damaged infrastructure. 

Just two days ago, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten identified the cause of the Hopkins Fire as arson and announced the suspected arsonist, 20-year-old Devin Johnson, had been arrested and booked in the Mendocino County jail.

No description available.
Devin Johnson [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Booking Logs]

A criminal complaint indicated charges have been formally filed against Johnson by the Mendocino County District Attorney. They charged him with two counts of aggravated arson. One count was prompted by the fire causing property damage and fire response expenses in excess of $8,300,000 and the other count was the result of the fire causing damage to five or more inhabited structures.

The charred landscape after fire swept through an East Calpella Road

Several GoFundMe donation drives have emerged for families that have lost their homes in the Hopkins Fire:

Please, if you know of a GoFundMe ongoing for a victim of the Hopkins Fire, please email us at matthewplafever@gmail.com, and we’ll gladly share.

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  1. I watched the video and messaged my friend in NZ to let her know the place where she lived for years before moving back there got burned.
    Very sad! We had a lot of good memories from 10-20 years ago.


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
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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