Camper van caught fire climbing Ridgewood grade

In Mendocino County a family vacation was cut short after a camper van carrying Matt Berardo of Campbell, his children, friend, and girlfriend, caught fire while climbing the Ridgewood Grade about 10 miles south of Willits. Berardo pulled the van over quickly and no one was injured. The fire spread onto land next to the highway and burned about an acre of brush before being quickly contained in a joint effort by several local fire departments. The fire was contained within 20 minutes and took about 3 hours to fully control. After pulling over, Berardo and another passenger, jumped out and tried to salvage the group’s possessions, pulling them out of the van, unfortunately the wind swept the fire onto their possessions. Everyone managed to get out of the car safely. The car belonged to Berardo’s girlfriend and was towed away by AAA. Items lost by the family in the fire included laptops, iPads and all their camping gear.