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Mendocino fire grows to 7,500 acres; 8 firefighters hurt

  • Downtown Laytonville is socked in with smoke along Highway 101, Friday Aug. 8, 2014 from the Lodge Fire. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

The stubborn Lodge Complex fire continued unabated Saturday night in Mendocino County, growing to more than 7,500 acres and drawing almost 2,200 firefighters.

The fire had moved to within about 3 miles south of Leggett on Saturday evening, but residents were not being ordered to leave — yet.

“We’re telling them, ‘Hey, better get ready. You could get the evacuation warning and order,’ ” Cal Fire spokesman Jerry Sharp said.

Lodge Fire in Mendocino County

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A number of smaller communities were under evacuation orders on the eastern boundary of the fire, east of Brush Mountain Ridge, Cal Fire officials said, although firefighting personnel continue to make progress constructing fire lines across the northern and southern boundaries of the fire.

On Friday, eight firefighters were injured as the fire pushed eastward, overrunning them as they tried to defend containment lines on the eastern flank south of Leggett, officials said.

None of the firefighters sustained life-threatening injuries, though all were airlifted to the UC Davis burn center in Sacramento for treatment, Cal Fire personnel said.

Three of the injured people were reportedly local agency firefighters from Santa Clara County aiding the effort in the remote wooded hills of northwest Mendocino County.

Five others were inmate firefighters working under Cal Fire and the California Department of Corrections, according to an online posting by Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott.

A Cal Fire spokeswoman in Sacramento told the Associated Press on Saturday that all eight firefighters had been treated and discharged. Their names were not immediately released.

The Lodge fire, sparked by lighting 10 days ago, continued to burn in heavy timber, challenging firefighters in the steep, rugged terrain with difficult access.


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