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Broiler fire in Mendocino County caused by mower, now 85% contained

A lawn mower that struck a rock on the property of a cannabis company was to blame for an 80-acre wildfire that destroyed three homes and six outbuildings this week, according to a news release from Flow Cannabis Co. on Friday.

A worker was mowing the company’s lawn when the mower blades hit a rock, causing a spark and the Wednesday fire, according to a statement from Flow Cannabis President Jarom Fawson.

The blaze, named the Broiler fire after a nearby steakhouse, was 85% contained as of Friday, said Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Chief Don Dale.

There were no major flare-ups overnight, so firefighters were just mopping up areas of concern to avoid flying embers. Crews will be working all weekend to extinguish hot spots, Dale said.

“Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the stress, anxiety, fear, and loss that our Redwood Valley neighbors have endured as a result,” the cannabis company said in its statement regarding the fire.

“Nor can words express how truly grateful we are to the first responders who were immediately on the scene and who, through their heroic and coordinated efforts, prevented further devastation.”

Flow Cannabis said it was “actively reaching out” to affected families as well as local community organizations to assist with recovery efforts.

The fire, which was west of Highway 101, forced 250 people to evacuate after it began around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Everyone was allowed to return to their homes by Wednesday night.

You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at alana.minkler@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @alana_minkler.

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