California News

2 large fires burn over 5,300 acres in Lake County

Sunday, August 12, 2012
Lake County residents evacuate due to fire Wildfire burns in Lake County Wildfire burns in Lake County

At least 5,000 acres have been burned in Lake County due to a pair of raging wildfires that began early Sunday evening. Evacuations have been called for hundreds of homes and continue as fire crews struggle to gain the upper hand.

The Wye Fire has burned at least 5,000 acres near Highway 20 and Highway 53, north of the town of Clearlake. That's about 50 miles north of Santa Rosa. Part of Highway 20 is shut down.

The Walker Fire is burning near the Lake-Colusa County line and approximately 400 acres have been burned there so far.

Firefighters issued an evacuation order for the Spring Valley subdivision of Clear Lake Oaks, about 15 miles from the town of Clearlake. People ABC7 News spoke to say they only had minutes to leave their homes.

"We could see the orange and black and everything and as we were driving out... we could see some trees that were on fire and you couldn't even see anything in front of you. You could just see where the different billows of smoke were. When you're breathing in it's kind of tough," said evacuee Megan Berger. She grabbed whatever should could in 15 minutes. She made sure to take some of her artwork and photos of loved ones.

Evacuee Chuck Cabral grabbed what he needed. "I grabbed all the medications we needed, some dog food, water and some clothes and stuff."

The CHP blocked portions of highways 20 and 53. Only emergency personnel could get through. CAL FIRE says both fires started along the highway.

"Which means, vehicle, a person, or accidental, a malfunctioning vehicle. It could be any one of those causes. We have no reason to believe it's anything but that," said Mike Wink from CAL FIRE.

As of 11 p.m. the Walker Fire was 20 percent contained and the Wye Fire was 10 percent contained. CAL FIRE says because of the cooler temperatures, they should make significant progress overnight.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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lake county, clearlake, wildfire, california news
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