A third wildland fire was reported east of Covelo in northeastern Mendocino County on Tuesday evening, prompting an immediate mandatory evacuation. CAL FIRE dubbed the the new blaze the Eel Fire.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation order with immediate effect for Mendocino Pass Road Covelo from the Eel River Guard Station all the way east to the Mendocino County line, and 1 mile out Indian Dick Road from the Eel River Guard Station. Residents are ordered to evacuate the area immediately and move to a safe location.
The Sheriff also issued an evacuation warning for Indian Dick Road, Etsel Ridge Road, Black Butte River, Mendocino Pass Road west of the Eel River Work Station in Covelo. Residents of these areas are advised to be prepared to evacuate.
Mendocino County Undersheriff Matt Kendall told KZYX the Eel Fire was burning 9 or 10 miles east of the town of Covelo, and quickly grew to about 865 acres. Based on his knowledge of the area, Kendall said he believes 60-70 structures could be threatened.
Sheriff's deputies assisted in 14 evacuations. Kendall said CAL FIRE had also been able to slow the fire and keep it from residences by dropping lines of fire retardant. Census data show 68 homes in the affected area, he said.
A reverse 911 call went out to local residents.
The Eel River Work Station is a US Forest Services station. The fire borders the National Forest and a number of privately owned parcels.