Gov. Brown declares State of Emergency in Lake County due to Clayton Fire

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Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an emergency proclamation for Lake County due to the effects of the Clayton Fire, which has burned thousands of acres, damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of residents.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Monday issued an emergency proclamation for Lake County due to the effects of the Clayton Fire, which has burned four thousand acres, damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of residents.

PHOTOS: Crews battle massive Clayton Fire in Lake County


Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, of Clearlake, California was arrested Monday on 17 counts of arson and is in jail.

RELATED: Police arrest man accused of starting Lake County's Clayton Fire

Meanwhile, firefighters are battling a raging wildfire that CAL FIRE officials say has destroyed at least 175 structures and forced thousands to evacuate the Lower Lake area of Lake County.

Firefighters are calling this the Clayton Fire because it started near Clayton Creek Road. It started Saturday and crews seemed to have a handle on it until it blew up Sunday afternoon, quickly taking over the town of Lower Lake.

With the Clayton Fire still raging to the east, and aerial tankers and firefighters doing their best to stop it, all the weary residents of Lower Lake can do is watch, worry and hope.

RELATED: Thousands evacuated from Lake County due to massive Clayton Fire

"My hope was that I still might have a house here," said Matt Colburn.

Matt and Crystal Colburn live on Winchester Street, just a few blocks from downtown Lower Lake. Here, home after home is gone. And though she hasn't been allowed back in yet to see it for herself, it's a reality Crystal has already begun to accept.

"As long as the lives are safe and the animals, we saw animals, people getting their animals out and everything. Everything else is rebuildable," said Crystal.



The big flames from Sunday were a wind-whipped inferno that destroyed one business after another in a matter of minutes. And it's a battle that's far from over

RELATED: Bay Area fire departments sending strike teams to fight Clayton fire

"We have a lot of resources in the air and on the ground. We want to get this under control as quickly as possible. We want to get this wrapped up. This community has been through a lot of fires in the last year," said Paul Lowenthal with the North Bay Incident Management Team.

Indeed, families like these, who are waiting it out with their animals at an evacuation center in Middletown are left to wonder why this keeps happening here.

"Two summers now. Yeah, the Valley Fire. It's too much for one person to handle you know," shared Manny Cook, another evacuee.


PG&E has cut power to miles of electrical lines in order to make it safer for firefighters.

As of Monday morning, roughly 1,800 homes and businesses are without power. That's down significantly from 8,00 who were without power on Sunday night.

The flames have damaged about 20 PG and E power poles and other essential equipment.

For full information on school closures, evacuation centers, and donation information, click here.

Click here for full coverage on the Clayton Fire and click here for full coverage on last year's Valley Fire.

PHOTOS: Crews battle massive 2015 Valley Fire

Related Topics:
newsClayton Firebrush firewildfirefirefirefightersevacuationred crosscaliforniacal fireLower LakeMiddletown
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