Publication Date August 14, 2016

Fast-moving wildfire threatens towns of Lower Lake and Clearlake

United States
Firefighters battle Clayton Fire in the town of Lower Lake. Photo: Sacramento Bee

A wildfire in Lake County was threatening the towns of Lower Lake and Clearlake on Sunday evening, leading to the evacuations of hundreds of people.

The fire started in a mostly rural area and destroyed four homes late Saturday, but shifted dramatically Sunday afternoon, crossing Morgan Valley Road and causing car and building fires along Main Street in Lower Lake, a town of about 1,200 people.

“This evening, it’s a full firefight at this point,” said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant. “People are being evacuated, and we’re trying to save buildings despite the ferocity of the fire.”

People in Lower Lake reported at least five commercial structures, including the post office, were on fire with multiple explosions from propane tanks. Video from the fire showed black smoke looming over the town, a popular destination for fishing, camping, hiking and horseback riding