The Ranch Fire in California has spread to 241,772 acres and is only 20 percent contained. The blaze has charred 75 residences and 68 other structures, and continues to threaten more than 11,300 additional residences and structures, according to the CalFire website.
The fire is located near Potter Valley, northeast of Ukiah.
“The Ranch Fire remained active overnight expanding further north and east, continuing to challenge fire crews due to limited access, heavy fuel loads, low fuel moisture, and high temperatures. Today resources continue to be deployed to all areas of the Ranch Fire perimeter. On the River Fire we continued to increase containment and work towards tying in the remaining containment lines to Scotts Valley Road,” reads the latest update from CalFire.
The fire was first reported on July 27 at 12:03 p.m. The Ranch Fire and the River Fire, located at Old River Road, 6 miles north of Hopland, are both part of the Mendocino Complex Fire. The River Fire has spread to 48,920 acres, but is 78 percent contained.
Areas across three counties (Mendocino/Lake/Colusa Counties) have been evacuated because of these fires. The latest update from CalFire in regard to evacuations below.
Evacuation centers have been set up at the following locations:
– Mendocino College, Dance Room at 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah
– Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake Street, Lower Lake
– Twin Pine Casino, 22223 CA-29, Middletown
– Middletown High School, 20932 Big Canyon Road, Middletown (AT CAPACITY)
– Middletown Middle School, 15846 Wardlaw St. Middletown, CA 95461
– Mountain Vista Middle School, 5081 Konocti Rd. Kelseyville, CA 95451
– Colusa County Veterans Hall,108 E. Main Street Colusa, CA
Although fire crews had hoped to have the Mendocino Complex Fires under control by mid-August, they keep spreading. The above average temperatures coupled with the lack of precipitation have been blamed for the rapid growth of these wildfires.
“The intense heatwaves sweeping the drought-stricken state have magnified the issue. Years of drought have resulted in dry vegetation across the state, allowing fires to spend rapidly. Scientists have said climate change is the underlying cause of all the factors which have added up to allow the fires to get out of control,” Express UK reports.