Two WIldfires Merge in Lake County

At one point the fire was reportedly consuming 500 acres an hour.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012  |  Updated 9:38 PM PDT
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Wildfire Continues to Burn in Lake/Colusa Counties

Chris Hallsted

This photo was taken by Lake County resident Chris Hallsted in the early hours of the Wye Fire.

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Wildfire Continues to Burn in Lake/Colusa Counties

Nearly 1,100 firefights are fighting a fire in Lake and Colusa Counties.
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 Two wildfires that started at about the same time on different sides of a mountain ridge Sunday afternoon have now merged in Lake County.

The fire shut down Highway 20 east of Clearlake Oaks Sunday afternoon and had people in the nearby Spring Valley and Long Valley communities under evacuation orders.  Those residents were allowed back to their homes Monday evening.

"Even though we've allowed the residents to return on the west side, this fire still has the potential to grow,'' state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. "We're just fortunate that it has moved away from the homes while continuing to burn.''

As of Tuesday morning the fire was 30-percent containment and had spread to 7,000 acres. 

There were at least seven air tankers, 15 water tankers, 134 fire engines and 1,000 firefighters on the front lines of the fire.

Berlant added that the work is being down in 100-plus temperatures. 

"It's been the heat, not the winds,'' Berlant said. "There's almost zero moisture inside the brush which hasn't burned in decades. It's very thick and overgrown.''

Cal Fire has named the fire "Wye Fire."

Cal Fire said two structures had been destroyed and another was damaged.

Here is the Cal Fire stats for the fire:

Wye Fire (now includes the Walker Fire)

Wye Fire (now includes the Walker Fire) Incident Information:

Last Updated:

August 14, 2012 7:00 am  

 

Date/Time Started:

August 12, 2012 3:52 pm  

Administrative Unit:

CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit  

County:

Lake and Colusa Counties  

Location:

Highway 20 east of Highway 53 and Clearlake Oaks  

Acres Burned:

7,000 acres  

Containment

7,000 acres - 30% contained  

Structures Destroyed:

2 structures destroyed and 1 damaged  

Evacuations:

All evacuations in the Spring Valley area were lifted Monday evening.  

Injuries:

2  

Cause:

Under Investigation 

Cooperating Agencies:

CAL FIRE, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, CHP, CAL TRANS, PG&E, Red Cross, Bureau of Land Management, CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation and dozens of local fire agencies.  

Total Fire Personnel:

1,095 (721 CAL FIRE)  

Engines:

134 (43 CAL FIRE)  

Fire crews:

30 (All CAL FIRE)  

Airtankers:

7 air tankers  

Helicopters:

6 (3 CAL FIRE)  

Dozers:

17 (7 CAL FIRE)  

Water tenders:

15 water tenders  

Major Incident Command Team:

CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4  

Conditions:

The Walker Fire and Wye Fire are two separate fires now being managed as one incident.

Residents only of Spring & Long Valley were allowed to return to their homes last night. Hwy 20 is open to CHP escorted traffic between Hwys 53 & 16. Expect delays.
Caltrans #1-800-427-7623  

Phone Numbers 

(707) 967-4207 (Wye Fire Call Center) 

Phone Numbers 

(707) 967-4208 (Wye Fire Call Center) 

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