WILLITS (CBS SF) — Cal Fire reported a new wildfire north of Willits Monday afternoon and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office immediately ordered evacuations, fearing the wind-driven flames could quickly spread to homes.

Oak Fire Burn Zone / Evacuation Areas Near Willits

The Oak Fire is burning in the vicinity of Big John Road and 3rd Gate Road north of Willits just west of Highway 101 and rapidly grew from less than 20 acres to about 700 acres in a little over two hours.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Willits High School.

Cal Fire downgraded the fire from 1000 to 700 acres at about 9:30 p.m., in an incident update Monday night, tweeting “acreage updated after more detailed mapping.”

There was zero containment.

Multiple air tankers and helicopters were assisting ground crews battling the fast-growing blaze.

The Mendocino Voice posted to their Facebook page a timelapse of the smoke plume rising above Highway 101 taken at around 3:25 p.m.

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