Moose fire in Mendocino County grows to 225 acres

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Evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday, after firefighters made significant progress to knock down the 225-acre Moose wildfire in Mendocino County.

About 20 residents whose 10 homes were threatened by the fire northwest of Hopland were allowed to return home.

The Moose fire started Monday evening in the rural area west of Highway 101. It jumped to 225 acres overnight, but by Tuesday night firefighters had it 35% contained, according to Cal Fire.

Patricia Austin, a Cal Fire spokeswoman, said more progress is expected Wednesday as firefighters get more accustomed to the terrain.

Firefighters Tuesday pushed back against the blaze burning along steep, brushy hillsides between Hopland and Ukiah while fighting strong afternoon winds.

The large effort playing out in brush and oak woodlands, included over 450 firefighters from across the state. Tuesday’s air attack involved five tankers and two helicopters.

“It’s expected to get into the 100s in the next couple of days, so they’re dealing with high temperatures and very steep terrain,” Austin said. “We also have to deal with winds every afternoon around 3 p.m. that whip in from the coast.”

One person battling the fire sustained a minor injury. The worker was contracting with Cal Fire to run a piece of equipment and after getting hurt was taken to a local hospital, Austin said.

Several local fire agencies, including Hopland, Ukiah Valley, Laytonville, Brooktrails, Redwood Valley and Potter Valley, also were fighting the blaze but Tuesday some were allowed to return to their home stations.

“Quite a few of the locals had either water tenders or engines on the fire all night. The crews are getting released ... back into service for the 100-degree weather we’re expecting today (Tuesday),” Hopland Fire Chief Mitch Franklin said.

Cal Fire crews are primarily handling this inferno, with reinforcement from far fewer local firefighters than a year ago, when big fires burned statewide, including in Mendocino and Lake counties.

You can reach Staff Writers Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport and You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337 or alexandria.bordas@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @CrossingBordas.

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