In the dark of early morning, three fires burned near the Mendocino/Sonoma County line between Geysers Road and Highway 101. Hopland Fire Chief Mitch Franklin told us the fires burned in close proximity to a known homeless encampment and are considered “very suspicious” in nature.
The fires burned in CALFIRE’s state responsibility area so they are conducting the fire investigation, Chief Franklin explained, and are working further to determine the exact cause and nature of the incident.
The fire grew quickly in the thick vegetation along the Russian River and Chief Franklin observed the fire “burned very well for this time of the year.”
Hopland Fire was dispatched around 3:00 a.m. to assist CALFIRE after reports emerged of a fire near the county line near the Russian River. Firefighters found “multiple large spots” and a fully-involved vehicle that Chief Franklin said had been abandoned in the area for a couple of months.
A homeless encampment was located a couple of hundred yards from the area of the fires, Chief Franklin said, and all occupants were gone when fire personnel arrived.
Multiple agencies converged to quickly tamp back the flames including Hopland Fire and Cloverdale Fire. CALFIRE deployed two fire engines, Hopland sent three engines and a water tender, and Cloverdale Fire sent one engine and one water tender.