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:
August 14, 2012 7:00 am
August 12, 2012 3:52 pm
CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit
Lake and Colusa Counties
Highway 20 east of Highway 53 and Clearlake Oaks
7,000 acres - 30% contained
2 structures destroyed and 1 damaged
All evacuations in the Spring Valley area were lifted Monday evening.
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)
134 (43 CAL FIRE)
30 (All CAL FIRE)
7 air tankers
6 (3 CAL FIRE)
17 (7 CAL FIRE)
15 water tenders
Major Incident Command Team:
CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4
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.
(707) 967-4207 (Wye Fire Call Center)
(707) 967-4208 (Wye Fire Call Center)