Wye Fire in Lake County Burns Out of Control

Wildfire spreading at rapid speed.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 9:08 AM PDT
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Wye Fire Burning in Lake County

Chris Hallsted

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

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A fast moving wildfire quickly tore through thousands of acres of Lake County in Northern California Sunday. 

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. 

There were reports that the fire was burning 500 acres an hour along Walker Range, according to Lake County news.

As of Monday morning it was zero percent contained, but Cal Fire said it expected 25-percent containment by the end of the day Monday. 

There were at least four air tankers and five helicopters being sent to the “Y” area at Highway 20 and 53, where the fire jumped the highway at one point and was on both sides of the roadway.

Cal Fire has named the fire "Wye Fire."

Cal Fire Tweeted: Wye Fire [Update] Hwy. 20 and Hwy. 53 (Lake County) is 3000 acres and now threatening Spring Valley just after 7 p.m. 

That number jumped to 5,000 acres before 8 p.m. Sunday. For some reason, that number went back to 3,000 acres Monday morning. 

Cal Fire said three structures had been destroyed and 480 more are threatened. 

There is a second wildfire in Lake County that is also taking resources. It is west of the main fire and on the other side of a mountain range. Cal Fire has named it the Walker Fire and it has burned 400 acres.

NBC Bay Area meteorologist Rob Mayeda said there were no lightning strikes in Lake County Sunday. He said Monday's forecast for the area is hot and breezy with a high of 105 degrees.

The smoke from the fires could be seen for miles. It could be seen from Napa County from the south and Butte County from the north. 

Check back for updates.

Here is the Cal Fire stats for the fire:

Wye Fire

 

Wye Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 13, 2012 5:20 am    
Date/Time Started: August 12, 2012 3:52 pm  
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit  
County: Lake County  
Location: Highway 20 and Highway 53 Intersection, east of Clearlake Oaks  
Acres Burned: 3,000 acres  
Containment 3,000 acres - 25% contained  
Structures Destroyed: 3  
Threatened: 480 homes in Long Valley & Spring Valley area.  
Evacuations:
Wye Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 13, 2012 5:20 am    
Date/Time Started: August 12, 2012 3:52 pm  
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit  
County: Lake County  
Location: Highway 20 and Highway 53 Intersection, east of Clearlake Oaks  
Acres Burned: 3,000 acres  
Containment 3,000 acres - 25% contained  
Structures Destroyed: 3  
Threatened: 480 homes in Long Valley & Spring Valley area.  
Evacuations: Mandatory evacuations in place for Long Valley & Spring Valley area.  
Injuries: 1 civilian  
Cause: under investigation 
Total Fire Personnel: 324  
Engines: 45  
Fire crews: 7  
Airtankers: 4  
Helicopters: 3  
Dozers: 7  
Conditions: The fire is burning on both sides of Hwy 20. Firefighters made progress throughout the night putting in containment lines. There are still homes threatened in the Long Valley and Spring Valley area. Additional firefighters will be arriving this morning from throughout the state. Hwy 20 is closed between Hwy. 16 and Hwy. 53. Check with CHP or Caltrans for the latest road closures.  

 

 

Injuries: 1 civilian  
Cause: under investigation 
Total Fire Personnel: 324  
Engines: 45  
Fire crews: 7  
Airtankers: 4  
Helicopters: 3  
Dozers: 7  
Conditions: The fire is burning on both sides of Hwy 20. Firefighters made progress throughout the night putting in containment lines. There are still homes threatened in the Long Valley and Spring Valley area. Additional firefighters will be arriving this morning from throughout the state. Hwy 20 is closed between Hwy. 16 and Hwy. 53. Check with CHP or Caltrans for the latest road closures.  

 

 

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