Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Ells Field is the municipal airstrip serving the Willits area these days. It used to be on the floor of the valley, but apparently the winter fog made it difficult to use year round, so this mountain ridge shoulder was found about three miles out of town, and has been in use for several decades. For over a month, it was a staging site for the helicopter crews fighting the Mendocino Lightning Complex fires. A blogger called Chopper Chick described her experiences of that event.
Although the gate to the runway and pilot facilities was wide open when I visited, signs on the fence indicated that I would be shot, arrested, and then shot again (by the Feds) if I dared to enter without authorization. I was too afraid to take pictures of the signs.