CLEAR LAKE, Calif. (KGO) -- More than 7,000 firefighters are in action Thursday night trying to contain wildfires. There are 18 major fires across the state, most of them in Northern California.
One of the most dangerous is in Lake County and it's quickly grown to 13,500 acres in just one day and has forced evacuations. It's currently five percent contained.
Cal Fire continued its air assault on the Rocky Fire Thursday, trying to gain the advantage on the fire near Clear Lake.
Hot, gusty winds helped it consume thousands of acres in the first few hours Wednesday, forcing a hasty evacuation in the Morgan Valley area.
Felipe Dejesus, his wife, four sons and their dog "Twiggy" are among the 650 evacuees. He says they could have gotten out sooner, but he had to help their disabled neighbor.
"Just leaving the place behind, you don't know what's going to happen," Felipe Dejesus said. "Hopefully, everything gets fine. And the kids in the car were like, 'Come on, Dad. Let's go. Hurry up.' But we had to wait for the family."
The fire is moving away from the DeJesus family's home, so it looks like they're out of danger at the moment. But now it's threatening another community, Hidden Valley.
"If Hidden Valley was truly threatened, that number could rise dramatically," said Troy Clemons of the Community and Disaster Response Team.
The shelter at Middletown High School is now preparing for the possible evacuation of more than a 1,000 people. An animal evacuation center is opened at the Lower Lake Social Services parking lot located at 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway in Lower Lake.
According to Cal Fire, mandatory evacuations have been issued for Double Eagle Ranch and homes along the Highway 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east to the county line. Evacuations are still in effect for the area north of Morgan Valley and East of Bonham Road, Jerusalem Grade Road, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road and Cantwell Ranch Road.
PHOTOS: Smoke from Lower Lake area wildfire seen for miles
Residents are being asked to stay away from the area, so emergency personnel can concentrate on fighting the fire and evacuate residents.
So far, no injuries have been reported.
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