Ranch fire now largest wildfire in California history
The Ranch fire became the largest individual wildfire in California history Sunday as it continued to grow in size, especially at its northwest corner just to the east of Potter Valley, fire officials said.
The blaze, which started July 27, had consumed 287,479 acres throughout Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties as of Sunday night, according to Cal Fire. That total surpasses the Thomas fire of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, which destroyed 281,893 acres last December. The River fire, which is just south of the Ranch fire and tucked in between Highway 101 on the west and Highway 29 on the east, has burnt 48,920 acres.
Despite the size of the blazes, which together have been named the Mendocino Complex fires, no deaths have been reported, Cal Fire said. However, two firefighters were injured.
Last week, the Mendocino Complex fires became the state’s largest wildfire in recorded history.
Cal Fire said 146 homes have been destroyed and another 13 damaged from the fires. The Ranch fire was at 62 percent containment Sunday, while the River fire was 93 percent contained.
Firefighters on Sunday worked to construct more bulldozer lines in Potter Valley to prevent the Ranch fire from heading west and threatening more homes and structures, Cal Fire spokesman Derek Tisinger said. Similar efforts were made in the northeast corner of the blaze south of the East Park Reservoir in Colusa County.
Most of the smoke from the Ranch blaze Sunday came from “a very active” portion south and east of Lake Pillsbury in Lake County, Cal Fire said.
No new evacuations have been called for. However, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reminded residents that a mandatory evacuation order was in place at Lake Pillsbury, including the Rice Fork Summer Homes area and all residences up north to the county line.