Fire Closes Hwy 20 and Engulfs 5000 Acres
Kym Kemp / Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 @ 10:27 p.m. / News
UPDATE 8/13 11:30 P.M:
The Wye and Walker fire are now combined into one fire—The Wye.
6000 acres 25% contained. According to Caltrans, As of 5PM,
Route 20 remains closed east of Route 53 due to fires.
It is not known at this time when the highway will be reopened, but
Caltrans crews will remain on hand throughout the night ready to shuttle
traffic through as soon as it is safe.
Follow CaltransDist1 on Twitter for traffic updates on State highways in
Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties. For the most current
road information on all California State highways, please call
1-800-427-7623 (1-800-GAS-ROAD) or visit www.dot.ca.gov
|Structures Destroyed:||2 structures destroyed and 1 damaged|
|Threatened:||480 homes in Long Valley & Spring Valley area.|
|Evacuations:||Wye Fire: Mandatory evacuations in place for Spring Valley including New Long Valley and Old Long Valley Rd.
Evacuation Center at Clearlake Senior Center – 3245 Bower Lane, Clearlake
Walker Fire: Evacuations in the Wilbur Hot Springs Area.
As of 8:00 pm residents in the Spring Valley Area will be allowed to return to their home.
UPDATE: Calfire has updated the information on the Wye and Walker fire. The Wye Fire is now listed at 3000 acres and 25% contained. The Walker fire is at 2000 acres and 30% contained. One fire fighter has been injured and one civilian. Three structures have been destroyed. Wilbur Hot Springs is being evacuated and Spring Valley is still under mandatory evacuation. Hwy 20 is still closed according to the CHP site.
A raging fire (the Wye Fire) which started around 4 P.M. this afternoon has quickly engulfed 5000 acres and closed Hwy 20 east of Clearlake. Another fire (the Walker Fire) which was reported just a few minutes earlier is only a few more miles east and has consumed 400 acres.
The Wye fire destroyed one structure and is threatening the town of Spring Valley forcing mandatory evacuations for the area. The Lake COunty Record Bee Facebook page has the harrowing account of one Spring Valley resident,
…we are beyond evacuation. the road is closed out of spring valley to hwy 20. we are all still in the valley since new long valley road is the only way in and out and it is blocked by fire. the best you can do is hope and pray the fire stays out of the cache creek canyon and does not make it over the ridge by the winery on old long valley road or we will be in a lot of trouble. we can go by 4wd over to indian valley reservoir, but there is a fire by walker ridge. so, we will stay put until they let us leave or the fire is out.
There are reports of power outages and the fire spreading eastward rapidly. Calfire reports they have 200 personnel, 12 engines, 3 dozers with enroute on the fire.
Meanwhile, the Grade fire on the east side of Hwy 101 south of Willits is 60 acres and 70% contained.