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.
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.
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.
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.