USA: WILLITS, Mendocino County — The number of people killed in a fire burning through southern Mendocino County rose to three on Tuesday, as nearby communities struggling with dead cell phones and web connections waited to see where the flames would move next.
The Redwood Complex Fire burned through Redwood Valley on Sunday night and early Monday, claiming three victims and sending 28 other people to hospitals, including four who suffered serious burns. The names of those killed have not been released.
The fire had burned 21,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon, with zero percent containment, forcing the evacuation of Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Pine Mountain, Cave Creek and the Wente Scout Reservation. Fifty homes were destroyed, along with 20 other buildings.
Although the winds that originally fanned the blaze had died Tuesday, residents of other towns strung along Highway 101 wondered about the safety of their own homes. And with problems plaguing cell phones, land lines and cable television service, they had a hard time finding answers