A firefighter was killed battling the Mendocino Complex Fire (Mendocino, Lake, and Colusa counties) in northern California on the evening (local time) of Monday, August 13. Officials announced at 22:00 that a firefighter passed away from injuries sustained fighting the Ranch Fire, the larger of the two fires that constitute the Mendocino Complex. This is the first firefighting fatality from the Mendocino Complex and the sixth this season in California; two firefighters were killed fighting the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite and three more people died battling the Carr Fire near Redding.
The Ranch Fire has burned 121,780 hectares (300,970 acres) and is 59 percent contained as of 19:00 on Monday. The smaller River Fire to the south consumed 19,797 hectares (48,920 acres) and is 100 percent contained. Strong progress made against the River Fire has allowed the state and other agencies to devote more resources to the Ranch Fire. A total of 146 homes have been destroyed by these fires. The complex is expected to be fully contained in early September. Up-to-date information on these and other California wildfires can be found on the CalFire website or its Twitter account.
Wildfires are frequent in California from May through November.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to exercise caution when traveling in areas near the wildfires, adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. road closures, evacuation orders), and monitor the situation. Children and those with respiratory illnesses are advised to limit outdoor activity.