Grass fire now 350 acres near Redwood Valley

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A fast-moving grass fire burned 350 acres Sunday along Highway 101 between Willits and Ukiah, forcing evacuations near Redwood Valley and limiting traffic on the major highway artery.

The blaze, known as the Grade fire, led to evacuations in the Baker Creek subdivision in Redwood Valley, according to the Cal Fire website.

The fire began around 2:50 p.m. on the highway roughly 20 miles north of Ukiah. At 7 p.m. the fire was just 10 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Twitter feed.

The CHP Ukiah traffic incident website suggested the blaze may have started as a car fire. The site reports the fire spread to nearby grass within eight minutes of the first report of flames. It also recorded the challenges of firefighters seeking to reach the blaze on a crowded highway.

The CHP said Sunday evening one northbound lane was closed but both southbound lanes remained open.

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