Ranch fire now largest wildfire in California history

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


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.

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine