Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Walker Fire: Two Firefighters Injured, the Largest Wildfire in Mendocino County This Season

An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Walker Fire [Picture by Matt LaFever]

This evening, an update published by CAL FIRE indicates that the 109-acre Walker Fire now stands at 35% containment, a 10% increase from this morning’s CAL FIRE report.

The Walker Fire ignited in the dry heat of yesterday afternoon south of Willits and swept through dry grass and oak woodland before firefighters stopped forward progress.

The Walker Fire now stands as the largest wildfire in Mendocino County during the 2022 fire season. The second largest was the Bell Fire which burned 43 acres on July 20, 2022. The third was the Owens Fire which burned in the hills above Point Arena back on May 23, 2022, growing to 36 acres.

Sikorsky S70i CAL FIRE Hawk dumps water on an eastern flank of the Walker Fire [Picture by Matt LaFever]

Another detail that emerged from this evening’s update was two firefighters were injured as a result of the firefight.

Jonathan Pierce, an on-duty Public Information Officer for CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit, told us both of the firefighters injured their ankles. One of the injured was a member of CAL FIRE, and the other was a member of a local fire agency.

The Walker Fire rises above Highway 101 [Picture by Matt LaFever]

Today, firefighters shored up the fire’s control lines and secured spot fires. Firefighters also worked to mitigate hazard trees, a practice typical of the mop-up and containment process of wildfires.

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The Walker Fire affected yesterday afternoon’s commute, closing a lane of Highway 101 just south of the Willits Bypass as it sent a towering smoke column visible throughout the region.

CAL FIRE’s evening update on 9/2/2022

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  1. So thankful for all those ass kicking firefighters on the ground & in the air!! It was hot & windy when it broke out. Could’ve been much worse…thank you

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
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 matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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