Mobile home park burned in Lake County wildfire as firefighters stop forward progress

ByWayne Freedman, J.R. Stone, and Kayla Galloway KGO logo
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Mobile home park destroyed in Lake Co. wildfire, 80 acres burned
A wildfire in Lake County burned 80 acres and prompted evacuation orders in Clearlake on Wednesday.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters stopped the forward progress of a wildfire in Lake County Wednesday evening after an estimated 50 homes were burned and residents were forced to evacuate.

The fire was last estimated at 80 acres and was 20% contained, as of 7 p.m., according to CAL FIRE.

Even though the forward spread of the fire has been stopped, Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said the fire is still active.

TAKE ACTION: Tips for how to help and stay safe during and after a wildfire

CAL FIRE issued evacuation orders this afternoon due to an "immediate threat to life and property."

The Lake County Sheriff told ABC7 that about 1,600 people were still under an evacuation order, as of late Wednesday night, and another 800 were under an evacuation warning.

"This fire is not under control yet," he said.

The sheriff's department has not received any reports of missing people in connection to the wildfire.

The sheriff said one person was injured and airlifted to a hospital outside of the county.

He described the region as a "tinder box" with the drought and fire conditions.

"This time a year in this type of environment, it's always dangerous," Sheriff Martin said.

"I'm always surprised how fast these fires move," he added.

He said the sheriff's department will now work with county officials, PG&E and others to provide shelter for those who've lost their homes.

Martin said PG&E transmission lines may have been affected by the fire, which could slow down efforts to turn power back on for residents impacted by Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

Over the next few hours he said firefighters will work to put out spot fires in the county.

The Cache Fire started near 6th Avenue and Cache Street in Clearlake and spread quickly to about Main Street in Lower Lake. The Lake County Fire Chief says their response was initially limited due to crews of theirs that had been sent to the Caldor Fire.

One witness told ABC7 News he first noticed a red and black RV on fire near his home.

"It was on fire for a while because it was blazing from the inside and then the outside, they just abandoned it," said Bruce Thurmon.

VIDEO: Safety tips to remember when returning home after wildfire

As residents return to see what remains, there are some very specific safety precautions to keep in mind.

Video from SKY7 shows the multiple structures burned in the fire, including the Cache Creek Mobile Home Park.

ABC7 spoke with a resident of the mobile home park who said he didn't have any warning before the fire approached his home.

"I saw the flames right behind me, behind my place," said Lake County resident Todd Black.

He said he gathered his dogs and belongings and left as fast as he could.

His house was burned down in the fire.

"I don't even recognize it," he said.

One resident told us he didn't know that when he left his home, he'd be leaving for the last time.

"They came and said you guys have to move right away. So we got my dog and my wife's medication, couple blankets and pillows and left," said David Steffen who told us there's now nothing left. "Came back just now and try to walk up there and there's no reason to go up there. It's gone! I just moved in up there from being homeless a year ago."

An evacuation center is set up at Kelseyville High School at 5480 Main Street in Kelseyville and many evacuated residents are in the cars in the nearby Clearlake Walmart parking lot.

An evacuation center is set up at Kelseyville High School at 5480 Main Street in Kelseyville.

Residents in the following zones are under the evacuation orders:



Residents can check their zone here or in the map below.

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The following roads are close in Lake County:

Lake Street at Damn Road

Dam Road at Jack in the Box

Northbound Hwy. 53 at Hwy. 29

Main Street Lower Lake at Hwy 53/29

Northbound Hwy. 29 at Spruce Grove North

Point Lakeview Road at Soda Bay Road

Southbound Hwy. 29 at Soda Bay Road

Southbound Hwy 29 at Siegler Canyon Road

Southbound Hwy 53 at Damn Road

Those traveling in the area should use caution, CAL FIRE said.

"This is quickly becoming a very serious situation in Clearlake for the Cache Fire. Winds are gusting 30mph out of the north which is making this fire move very quickly," ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma said on Twitter.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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