As a large wildfire in Northern California’s Lake County continued to burn Sunday, authorities required roughly 3,000 people to evacuate and East Bay fire crews were called in to help fight the blaze.
What’s being called the Pawnee Fire had burned about 8,200 acres, destroyed at least 22 structures and was threatening 600 more Monday morning, according the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.
Firefighters from the Alameda County, Fremont, Oakland, Hayward and Berkeley Fire Departments were deployed early Sunday morning as part of designated strike teams to help battle the blaze, according to Aisha Knowles, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Fire Department.
Cox said the fire was centered near Pawnee Road and New Long Valley Road, northeast of Clearlake Oaks, and was still zero percent contained as of Sunday afternoon. The fire was primarily burning eastward and spreading fast, but had been burning in multiple directions earlier Sunday.
“We have over 200 firefighters now on scene, and more resources have been ordered, both air and ground,” Cox said. The fire is mostly burning through what he called “steep, dry terrain” that had been red-flagged for fire danger prior to the fire.
Both New Long Valley Road and Old Long Valley Road were closed at Highway 20, according to Cal Fire.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office ordered mandatory evacuations for all residents of the Spring Valley area, according to the agency’s Nixle page.
A shelter was established at Lower Lake High School, at 9430 Lake Street, according to the sheriff’s office.
The fire started around 5:20 p.m. Saturday, Cox said, but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
Cox said the Pawnee Fire was one of four large wildfires actively burning Sunday in Northern California.
The Lane Fire in Tehama County had burned more than 3,000 acres, and was only 10 percent contained as of Sunday night.
The Stoll Fire, also in Tehama County, had burned about 500 acres, and was 50 percent contained.
The Bascom Fire in Shasta County had burned about 328 acres and was 85 percent contained as of Sunday night.