Saturday, September 23, 2023

[UPDATE 8:27 p.m. Forward Progress Stopped]Wildfire Burning Northeast of Covelo

The wildfire as seen from the Anthony Peak Camera

A wildfire is burning northeast of Covelo this evening along Mendocino Pass Road.

The first unit on the scene in the area of the 27000 block of Mendocino Pass Road said the fire is currently 2 to 4 acres in size, burning in grass and oak woodland, and growing at a moderate rate of spread with the potential to go extended.

Both ground and air resources have been dispatched to the fire.

UPDATE 7:48 p.m.: The fire is being referred to as the “Short Fire”. Law enforcement is responding with lights and sirens in the area.

Multiple air tankers and a firefighting helicopter are currently on their way north to the fire.

[Screenshot from FlightRadar24.com]

UPDATE 7:54 p.m. The Incident Commander has requested a hard road closure at the intersection of Highway 162 and Short Creek.

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There is also one structure threatened on the left flank of the fire, according to the Incident Commander.

UPDATE 8:01 p.m.: UPDATE 8:01 p.m.: An airborne firefighter reported the fire is six acres in size and growing at a moderate rate of spread. The flames are driven by a western wind up a slope burning in grass and oak woodland. He estimated the fire had a moderate possibility of going extended.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation warning stating,

“Evacuation Warning: Wildfire in the Covelo area, Near Mile Marker 33 Mendocino Pass Rd, Be ready to evacuate at any moment, gather your belongings, check on your neighbors and leave early if possible. Please avoid the area, Emergency crews need access, DO NOT BLOCK THE ROAD. Only call 9 1 1 for emergencies. We will publish more information including evacuation zone maps and social media updates to mendoready.org as more information becomes available.”

UPDATE 8:16 p.m.: The Incident Commander reports that a powerline is down in the area of the ridge. Two water tankers dispatched out of Shasta County have been canceled. 

UPDATE 8:21 p.m.: The Incident Commander reports that the Short Fire is currently 10 acres in size and continues to grow at a moderate rate of spread.

UPDATE 8:25 p.m.: The Incident Commander reported the fire’s forward progress has been stopped. Air resources have been released from the incident. The latest reports have diminished the estimated size to 6 acres and relayed that firefighters currently have a line all the way around the fire.

Please remember that this story is unfolding. Information is being reported as we gather it. However, some of the information coming from witnesses and initial official reports could be wrong. We will do our best to get the facts but, in the case that something is inaccurate, we will update with correct information as soon as we can.

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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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