Northern California Fires, Including Pawnee Fire, Destroy 22 Buildings and Threaten Others
Start a Emergency & Disaster Management degree at American Military University.
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Wildfires in Northern California’s Lake County have burned 11,500 acres and destroyed 22 buildings since the fires were first reported Saturday evening, CNN affiliate KRON4 in San Francisco said Tuesday.
There have been no reports of injuries or deaths so far. But another 600 buildings are in the path of the main blaze, called the Pawnee Fire.
As of Monday evening, the Pawnee Fire was only five percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Cal Fire said the flames were driven by "low relative humidity, erratic winds and above-normal temperatures."
Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the area.
Mandatory Evacuations Now in Effect
Evacuation centers opened on Saturday. However, the Lake County Sheriff's Office did not issue a formal mandatory evacuation until Sunday afternoon.
Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for the entire Spring Valley community, including all surrounding access roads. “All Double Eagle Ranch area residents are strongly advised to evacuate immediately,” the Sheriff's Department warned.
Light Winds and Mild Temperatures Predicted for Area, Which Should Aid Pawnee Fire Containment
The National Weather Service predicts light winds in the next few days. Temperatures will be in the high 70s and low 80s, which should help firefighters make progress in containing the flames.
“We are hopeful that we'll start to see the percentage of containment start to go up," Santa Rosa Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal told KRON4.
Over 400 People Involved in Firefighting Efforts
In addition, more than 200 workers are monitoring the fires from the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the California Conservation Corps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved two Fire Management Assistant Grants for the state to fight the Pawnee and the Creek fires, the FEMA Region 9 office announced.