Two wind-driven wildfires in Mendocino County have grown to more than 24,000 acres, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate, authorities said Sunday.
The Ranch and River fires, known together as the Mendocino complex fire, began Friday afternoon and has exploded in the last 24 hours, devouring thousands of acres, destroying four homes and threatening thousands more, according to Cal Fire. The fire is only 5% contained.
More than 500 homes in Mendocino County have been evacuated and thousands are threatened, authorities said. Some neighboring Lake County communities have also been evacuated. On Sunday afternoon, mandatory evacuations were expanded to the city of Lakeport and unincorporated areas of Lakeport.
“The River fire poses an imminent threat to the city of Lakeport,” the Lakeport Police Department said in an alert. “Leave immediately and seek shelter.”
An evacuation shelter was opened at the Twin Pine Casino at 22223 Highway 29 in Middletown.
Hot, dry and windy conditions continue to hamper firefighting efforts, officials said.
Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.
4:05 p.m.: This article was updated with new evacuation orders.
This article was originally published at 11:25 a.m.