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New fire east of Covelo in Mendocino County results in evacuation orders

A new fire sparked east of Covelo in Mendocino County just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, resulting in evacuation orders for the surrounding rural area. The Eel fire, burning near Mendocino National Forest, has grown to 865 acres and is threatening 10 structures and a campground.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has expanded an earlier evacuation order for residents along Mendocino Pass Road, from Black Butte River Ranch east to the Anthony Peak and US Forest Service Road M4, and north from the ranch along County Route M1, also known as Indian Dick Road, for four miles.

An evacuation warning has been issued for residents along Etsel Ridge Road and Boonville Road, and in the area stretching east to US Forest Route M4 to the south of Mendocino Pass Road.

Cal Fire spokesperson David Clark said the fire started this afternoon in the Black Butte River Ranch area, but the cause is currently unknown. No structures have been damaged or injuries reported.

Multiple aircraft and engines responded quickly to the blaze, many of them in the area to fight the Mendocino Complex fire more than 60 miles to the south.

Clark said the Eel fire appears unconnected to the River and Ranch fires in southern Mendocino County.

You can reach Staff Writer Meghan Herbst at (707)521-5250 or meghan.herbst@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Megeherbst

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