LNU Lightning Complex: Four dead in California's 2nd largest fire as North Bay blaze scorches more earth

Four people have died, Cal Fire officials said, as the second-largest California wildfire continues to scorch more earth and gobble more ground.

Cal Fire noted that three people have died in Napa County on Highway 128 and one person has died in Solano County as a result of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire. Besides Napa and Solano counties, the group of fires reaches into Sonoma, Lake and Yolo counties. 

On Wednesday, a PG&E worker was found dead in his vehicle Wednesday in Vacaville on Pleasants Valley Road. It's unclear if the PG&E worker counted among the four. 

No more information was given on their deaths. But Cal Fire did note that four other civilians were injured. No fire firefighters have suffered any injuries.

As of Friday evening, Cal Fire said the blaze had consumed more than 302,388 acres; nearly 500 structures have been destroyed and another 125 were damaged. More than 30,000 structures remained threatened.  As of Friday, the blaze was 15% contained.

But the wind patterns changed and new mandatory evacuation orders were issued for areas south of the Russian River.  

The largest fire in the complex is called the Hennessey Fire in Napa County.

But Cal Fire Batallion Chief Ben Nicholls said at a news conference said that the big focus was to get a handle on the Walbridge Fire by Healdsburg. That fire is currently 21,125 acres and 0% contained.

Cal Fire's retardant attack tankers and a host of aerial attack contractors have been working from early morning into late dusk. 

Cal Fire Tanker pilot Jerome Laval said, "The last five, six years have been bad, but this is like incredibly bad."

Since the LNU Complex Fire first broke officials have maintained that state resources are stretched thin. 

"Right now, we're pretty much scattered all over the state; difficult to have a plan for one fire. So, we're at it but if it's windy, it's harder to contain," said Laval. 

A number of large contractors and mutual aid aircraft have been called into action. 

"When the fires get bigger, you need big airplanes to draw big lines of retardant," Laval said. 

Fifteen miles to the south, Guerneville, Monte Rio, and many communities all the way to the sea are in evacuation mode and remain virtual ghost towns. 

Throughout this region, aircraft are doing their best to slow down the fires but it will take badly needed ground troops to stop the fires and keep embers from reigniting.

Officials said the two worst months for wildfires are still ahead before the rain comes. 

"Seeing this in August is very concerning," said pilot Laval.

The SCU Lightning Fire Complex in Alameda, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties and the LNU fires have been jockeying for which is bigger.

On Thursday, LNU was in the No. 1 spot. But on Friday, that fire had scorched 219,000 acres, and the SCU fires had consumed nearly 240,000 acres. 

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said that currently, 12,000 firefighters are battling nearly two dozen major fires and complexes across California.

Since the lightning siege started on Saturday, there have been nearly 12,000 lightning strikes, sparking more than 560 new wildfires.

Those fires have burned over 771,00 acres in total.

Berlant said fire danger remains elevated this weekend as there still may be more lightning expected Sunday through Tuesday, gusty winds in the Eastern Sierra and very hot temperatures. 

People pulled over near a vineyard watch a smoke plume from the Walbridge fire, part of the larger LNU Lightning Complex fire, as flames continue to spread in Healdsburg, California on August 20, 2020. - A series of massive fires in northern and cent

VACAVILLE, CA - AUGUST 19: Shawnee Whaley evacuated from her home in Vacaville sits at a Red Cross center setup at the Ulatis Community Center in Vacaville, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. At least 50 structures have burned to the ground in the


Napa County:

Highway 128 from Lower Chiles Valley Road to Monticello Road

Highway 128 from Chiles Pope Valley Road to Lower Chiles Valley Road

Chiles Pope Valley Road from Highway 128 to Lower Chiles Valley Road

All of Hennessey Ridge Road.

From Moskowite Corner to Wooden Valley Rd, Including the community of Circle Oaks

Atlas Peak from the Bubbing Well Pet Cemetary at 2462 Atlas Peak Rd to the dead end

From Loma Vista Rd / Soda Canyon Rd to the dead end.

All of Steele Canyon Rd from Hwy 128 to and including the Berryessa Highlands Sub Divison

Wragg Canyon Rd - from Hwy 128 to the end of the road, including Pleasure Cove Resort

Chiles Pope Valley Road - From Lower Chiles Valley Road to Pope Canyon Road

Highway 121 (Monticello Road) – from Wooden Valley Road to Silveraldo Trail

Pope Valley Rode – From Aetna Springs Road to Chiles Pope Valley Road

Aetna Springs Road – From Pope Valley to the dead end

Butts Canyon Road – From Aetna Springs Road to the Lake County Line

James Creek Road – From Butts Canyon Road to the dead end

Highway 121 (Monticello Road) – from Wooden Valley Road to Vichy Ave.

Community of Angwin

Community of Deer Park

St Helena Hospital

East side of HWY 29 from Lake County line down to Silverado Trail

East side of Silverado Trail from Highway 29 to Highway 128

Northwest side of Highway 128 to Chiles Pope Valley Road

Northwest side of Chiles Pope Valley Road to Pope Valley Road

Northwest side of Pope Valley Road to Butts Canyon Road

West side of Butts Canyon to Lake County

Sonoma County:

All areas south of River Rd. from Martinelli Rd. to the intersection of River Rd at Trenton Rd.

West of Covey Rd.

North of Front St. / Hwy. 116

East of Martinelli Rd.

North of Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road. to the eastern edge of Lake Sonoma

Everything west of the eastern edge of Lake Sonoma to the western boundary that runs north along the ridge line from the intersection of Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road

Old Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road to the interception of Rockpile Road

Cooley Ranch Road north to the Mendocino County Line

North of Austin Creek Recreational Area

East of The Cedars

Mill Creek Road west of the intersection of Puccioni Road

South of Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road

South of Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road

West of West Dry Creek Road and Westside Road

North of Sweetwater Springs Road and McCray Ridge Road

East of the East Austin Creek (the actual creek)

The Evacuation Order on Monticello Road from Vichy Ave to Silverado Trail is now an Evacuation Warning.

Ink Grade – from Pope Valley Road to White Cottage Road

Howell Mountain Road – From Pope Valley Road to White Cottage Road

Evacuation Warning:

West of Meyers Grade Road to the coast

South of Fort Ross Road

North of Russian Gulch State Beach

North of Austin Cree Recreational Area

East of Cedars

West of Mill Creek Rd

South of Stewarts Point-Skaggs Spring Road


Meyers Fire - County Evacuation Zone 1F1

All areas east of Bohemian Hwy.

North of Graton Rd. and Harrison Grade Rd.

West of Harrison Grade Rd., Green Valley Rd., and Hwy. 116

South of the Russian River

Meers Fire - County Evacuation Zone 1F2

All areas south of the Russian River

East and North of Hwy. 116 (Pocket Canyon)

West of Martinelli Rd

Walbridge Fire - County Evacuation Zone 4A1

All areas East of the Russian River

North of River Rd.

West of Trenton Healdsburg Rd. and Eastside Rd.

South of the area between the western dead end of Windsor River Rd. and the Russian River

Walbridge – Evacuation Zone 4B1 (Northern Forestville)

All areas south of River Rd. from Martinelli Rd. to Trenton Rd.

West of Covey Rd.

North of Front St. / Hwy. 116

East of Martinelli Rd.

Walbridge – Evacuation Zone 2K2

All areas south of Hwy. 101

East of the Russian River to the Windsor Town limits

North of where Windsor River Rd. dead ends extending west to the Russian River.

Meyers – Evacuation Zone 1E3

All areas south of the Russian River

West of Bohemian Hwy.

North and East of Coleman valley Rd. and Willow Creek Rd.

Meyers – Evacuation Zone 1E1

All areas south and west of Willow Creek Rd.

North of Coleman Valley Rd. and Wright Hill Rd.

East of the California Coastal National Monument (BLM property)

Meyers - Evacuation Zone - 1C1

All areas east of the Sonoma coast to the south fork of the Gualala River.

South of Kruse Ranch Rd. and Howser Bridge Rd. to Fort Ross Rd.

Lake County:

Evacuation Order:

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has issued an EVACUATION ORDER for residents living in and around Hidden Valley Lake and Jerusalem Valley areas of Lake County due to a Wildland Fire. This includes residents living North of Butts Canyon Road, South of Hofacker Ln to Morgan Valley Rd, East of Hwy. 29 and West of the Lake/Napa County line. Residents are advised that there is an IMMEDIATE threat to life and property from a wildfire, and are urged to evacuate. Please leave the area. If you are in need of shelter please proceed to a Temporary Evacuation Point (TEP) that has been setup at the old airstrip off of Hwy. 53 in Clearlake. You are asked to stay in your vehicle and wear masks when you arrive at the TEP. A shelter is being established and you will be directed to the shelter by staff at the TEP.

Eastside of Highway 29 – North of the Napa/Lake County line up to the Southern Intersection of Highway 29 / St Helena Creek Road (Across from the Twin Pine Casino)

All of St Helena Creek Road - to the Highway 29 / St Helena Creek Road / Butts Canyon Intersection

This Evacuation Order does not include the Middletown proper

Additional evacuations are ongoing, more to follow

Evacuation Center:

Napa County:

Crosswalk Community Church

2590 First Street

Napa, CA 94558

Sonoma County:

Santa Rosa Fair Grounds 1350 Bennett Valley Road Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Lake County:

Temporary Evacuation Points: Is setup at the old airstrip off of Hwy 53 in Clearlake

Animal Evacuation Center:

Napa County Animal Shelter

942 Hartle Court

Napa, CA 94559

Road Closures:

Napa County:

SR-121 at Wooden Valley Rd (this was previously the SR-121 at SR-128 closure). This closure will be staffed by an officer. Circle Oaks is being or will be evacuated

SR-128 at Pleasent's Valley Rd. Woodland CHP and Caltrans are staffing this closure. No traffic westbound on SR-128 from this intersection. Traffic can move east on SR-128 and south on Pleasent's Valley Rd

Butts Canyon Rd at Snell Valley Rd. This closure is staffed by a CHP officer. We do not want anyone traveling south on Butts Canyon Rd past this intersection

SR-128 at Silverado Trail. This closure is staffed by a CHP officer and Caltrans

Napa County Roads is working on the following closures:

Atlas Peak Rd at Westgate Drive. No traffic north on Atlas Peak Rd. past Westgate Drive. This section of Atlas Peak is being or will be evacuated

Soda Canyon Rd at Silverado Trail. Soda Canyon Rd. north of Loma Vista Drive is being or will be evacuated. We do not want any traffic on Soda Canyon Rd north of Loma Vista--it's easier to close it at Silverado Trail

Sonoma County:

SR-1 @ Fort Ross Road- No traffic on S/B SR-1 and no traffic E/B on Fort Ross Rd

SR-1 @ Meyers Grade Road- No traffic on N/B SR-1 and no traffic on N/B Meyers Grade Rd

Fort Ross Road at Seaview Road- No traffic on W/B Fort Ross Rd. and no traffic on E/B Fort Ross Rd

Myers Grade Road at Fort Ross Road- No traffic on S/B Meyers Grade Rd

Dry Creek Rd at Dry Creek

Yoaking Bridge Rd at Dry Creek

Lyton Springs Rd at Dry Creek

Westside Rd @ Dry Creek

Wohler Rd at River Rd

Odd Fellows Park Rd at Russian River

Bohemian Hwy at Russian River

Mosscow Rd at Hwy 116

Hwy 116 at Hwy 1 (Move Hwy 1 at Myers Grade)

King Ridge Rd @ Sewell Rd (private Rd with gates)

Skaggs Spings Rd at Sewell Rd (Anvil Ranch)