[UPDATE 5:37 a.m. Monday] Civilians Escaping on Foot; Sheriff of Lake County Declares Emergency

Clayton fire map from Cal Fire showing last year's fires, too. While the 2015 fires show where their perimeters are located. The information on the Clayton Fire does not.

Clayton Fire map from Cal Fire showing last year’s fires, too. While the 2015 fires show where their perimeters are located. The information on the Clayton Fire does not.



Original post: The Clayton Fire in Lake County continues to rampage forcing people and animals to flee. Some people are having to escape on foot. Flames are currently threatening the town of Lower Lake. At 2.55 p.m, the commander says that the fire is going to start burning the town of Lower Lake in 15 minutes if they don’t stop it.

Lower Lake received evacuation orders earlier today and Clearlake received evacuation orders about 2:30 p.m. in the area commonly known as the Chapman Tract east of State Hwy 53. “It is a complicated area to evac,” reports the incident commander over the scanner.

At 2:40 p.m. we heard emergency personnel state on the scanner, “We are starting to pick up people walking out of the fire. Can we get a medic unit?”

A commander on the incident is asking that no firefighters or aircraft be diverted from his area as there are life threatening conditions.

Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin declared “a local public emergency due to the disastrous conditions.”

Below in a video posted by Sheriff Tom Allman of Mendocino County, he and State Senator Mike McGuire were moved from an area as it becomes unsafe.

UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: “We are shutting down Hwy 53 and 29,” according to scanner traffic. All of Lower lake and the bottom half of Clearlake is being evacuated.

UPDATE 3:47 p.m.: Mom and daughter are swimming across Cache Creek. The fire is held to one side of the creek.

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.: Cal Fire video update, The Battalion Chief on scene states the fire jumped Morgan Valley Road.

UPDATE 4:06 p.m.: “…commercial structures burning in Lower Lake,” according to scanner.
UPDATE 4:17 p.m.: According to Incident Dashboard, a fire site, Commercial structures burning in downtown Lower Lake, per IC. Fully in defensive mode, no ability to attempt perimeter control at this time.
UPDATE 4:19 p.m.: Senator Mike Mcquire tweeted,

UPDATE 4:28 p.m.: Cal Fire just tweeted that Clayton Fire is “2,000 acres and 5% contained.”

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.: Map from Modis showing rough boundaries.

Modis map showing rough boundaries of Clayton Fire

Modis map showing rough boundaries of Clayton Fire as of 4:33 p.m. August 14, 2016

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: “Multiple structures involved [on fire],” reports a commander to fire command. Fire has jumped Cache Creek as of 4:40 p.m. Firefighters are trying to “steer” the fire into the burn area of the 2015 Rocky Fire.
UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Operation of Emergency Services Director posted,

UPDATE 4:54 p.m.: SF Chronicle reporter tweeted this video of Lower Lake burning.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: As of this posting, this is live video from Lower Lake.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: The live video is now over. When Henderson does another, we’ll let you know.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: Firefighters are headed to rescue a juvenile trapped in a swimming pool with fire all around. This is the 9000 block of Riverview Drive. See blue pool in lower center of map below.

Juvenile trapped in pool map

UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Juvenile rescued and with the Sheriff’s Office and is uninjured!

UPDATE 6:29 p.m.: Lake County Sheriff posted, “Parents need to be aware that Konocti Unified School District schools will be closed on Monday, August 15, 2016.”

UPDATE 6:31 p.m.: Lake County Sheriff posted:

Additional evacuation centers have been established at Kelseyville High School in Kelseyville and the Seventh Day Adventist church in Lakeport.

Kelseyville High School
5480 Main St. Kelseyville

Seventh Day Adventist Church
3500 Hill Road E. Lakeport

The Grace Evangelical Church in Kelseyville is NOT currently open for evacuees.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: For more live video go here: http://abc7news.com/live/7704/

UPDATE 7:03 p.m.: Screenshot from the live video above.

Clayton Fire

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: Lake County Sheriff posted:

Evacuation Center Update

The Clearlake Highland Senior Center is closed as an evacuation center, due to a power outage. The following approved evacuation centers are open:

Kelseyville High School – 5480 Main Street, Kelseyville

Twin Pine Casino – 22223 Hwy 29, Middletown

Seventh Day Adventist Church – 3500 Hill Road E. Lakeport

UPDATE 9:41 p.m.: Cal Fire says, “3,000 acres – 5% contained”

UPDATE 5:37 a.m.: Monday: Press release from the CHP

Highway 53 closed between Highway 29 and Olympic Dr in Clearlake. Roads west of 53 are open, roads east of 53 are remaining closed at this time. Unkn eta for re-opening. Highway 20 and 29 are open.

UPDATE 8:06 a.m.: We’ve got fire maps here.



  • Thanks for keeping us posted its all in the winds now.Firefighter safety first if it’s to hot get out .

  • Prayers to all the residents and firefighters be safe and plz make it home when your job is done

  • My god ,I’m praying for you all!please be safe,and when they tell you to go,Go please don’t don’t take any chances

  • Wow, that is scary.

    Please be careful with fire, everyone.

  • Any one know the status of bonham road houses

  • im on the west side of hwy 53 and got the evac call .im loading my travel trailer but think they called by mistake cause of my street name

  • commander says that the fire is going to will start burning the town of Lower Lake in 15 minutes ???

  • Oh my gosh….please stay safe every one!

  • Oh no, not again! Looks like this one might fill in the gaps from the earlier fires.
    The Rocky fire might have been old enough that it could be dangerous again.
    Why does this happen so often going into heat waves.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Fire is often part of the natural cycle in a Mediterranean climate, especially one with normally good winter rainfall to grow the fuel for long, hot, dry summers. With the endlessly increasing population, more people move into fire-prone areas. Drought cycles and global warming may exacerbate the situation. Sorry for all those who are suffering.

  • Bringing me to tears, this could be any of our little towns. The fear from the fire chiefs comes through and it’s terrifying to think of people having to leave on foot.
    Please let us in humboldt know how we can assist in any way.
    Many blessings and prayers that a,miracle save this town and that all can get away from the flames, trauma barely gone from last year.

  • Stay safe Firefighters nothing worth your life .Been there .i’m hearing reports the downtown is in a major crisis. Thanks hypocrites your forest management never ceases to amaze me. That would be The so-called not-for-profit environmental groups that closed our forests with the north west forest plan.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Forest fires have long been a component of the Cali environment. Blaming environmentalists for every disaster is a cheap shot. So what is your solution? Clearcut every acre of federal land? C’mon, whadaya got? Population control would be a starter.

      • Shirleyann Kaapro

        Common sense and reports tell you land needs to be cleared. There is no money or trees saved. Firefighters no building structure or piece of land is worth your life. Be safe.

      • Tell that to the wildlife lost one .People like yourself have done so much damage one day you’ll face that reality .

  • I have been getting updates all day from friends in Clearlake. This is just horrifying. They have been through SO much.
    Blessings on all firefighters. Everywhere

  • I just heard from my friends again…most of the commercial buildings in Lower Lake are gone

  • Has anyone heard if Teklas Rd is burning?

  • Curious Curmudgeon

    Downtown Lower Lake from KPIX

  • Over 6000 customers in Clearlake area are now without power

  • Is Hwy 29 closed?

  • We are expecting lightning right here tonight. Remember the “canoe fire” in ’03…lightning caused

  • Praying for rain with those thunderstorms!!!
    & a huge cloud full of water dumping on lake county, it can’t hurt to pray for a miracle.

    • i’m praying with you right now. we need a miracle. and the national guard to assist with evacuation

      • Is there any rep we can call to demand evacuation assistance for you all down there??? Absolutely ridiculous more evacuation help not available, I can’t imagine having to run/swim to safety. Isn’t this what natl guard is for?

        Blessings to all involved,
        let’s all picture it raining there, it may sound wooey but no harm done to envision it!

    • I think you are seeing smoke from the fires, not thunder clouds.

  • With the prolonged drought and the future unknown, we need to have crews in the winter and spring clearing debris in these high threat areas. Go into the forest and break up dead branches right there. If we help the forest build better soils they will be more tolerant in these high stress situations. A rich mulch forest bed holds more moisture. It would also help reduce the swiftness of fire spreading.

    For a very long time these forests were managed by fire, now current managment techniques are allowing for overgrowth. Such a dense mixed forest added with drought equals a really bad time for a lot of people.

    • Agreed. Our management strategies have to change. Goats are fantastic at clearing brush and grass. We need to listen to the native wisdom of how they decided on the right times to burn.

      And let’s all take the time to contact our reps to ask for the practice of poisoning and killing standing trees not considered valuable by timber companies to be made illegal.
      Basically they become standing matchsticks.
      Many firefighters in mendo tried along with other community members to get this practice halted and were denied.

      So so heartbreaking to see this happening.

      • I’ll never understand how people like yourself can remove the human element God gave us a brain for a reason try using it removing dead and dying trees from like the bark beetle is just plain common sense .

        • Evolution gave us a brain.

          The use of these chemicals is causing more harm then good.

          They aren’t removing the trees, they are spraying harmful chemicals to kill the trees. Anybody with a brain can see that.

          • You know there’s no convincing the idiots of the world how wrong they are the bark beetle is killing millions of trees in the west it’s people like yourself to just make me sick .homicides are used to kill brush sometimes to promote a healthy growth of trees but you’ll never ever be able to understand that you’re too busy probably producing drugs to poison our youth . I could tell you where to go but I think I’ll keep it to myself .

            • If god gave you a brain then that’s fine with me. I would prefer my college degree over your 3rd grade run on sentence skills.

              I will agree with you about the bark beetle. It was a big topic in my mountain geography class at an University. Do you know what that is? If we helped the forest soils then a healthier forest can resist fire and pine beetles.

              A homicide involves death but it aint brush.

              • Natives understood the benefits of fires without university degrees. I’m an old timer that learned from the old time ranchers that learned from Native Americans. The most ignorant we locals ever saw in 70’s years on the land are college educated nitwits full of bluster and stupid as a hell. Their professors sit in an office somewhere and speculate what’s good for the forest and brainwash the coddled masses that make it to their classes. There’s not room to tell how the Native Americans kept the forest clean with fire along with natural forces such as lightning strikes. You can’t duplicate what they did or the old time cattlemen did today in s big way because wood structures everywhere and the threat of lawsuits from idiot environmentalist. The most destructive force to ever hit our rivers and mountains are greedy environmental types who’s ignorance is astounding. Take your collective degrees and shove them.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Goats are also great as emergency rations for starving cougars. Best use yet (I’m biased and I know it, thanks). Dead snags were always a component of Cali forests and many forms of life depend on them.

      • Killing trees and having goats eat the brush is an interesting solution to the burning of the town of Lower Lake, California.

    • Here’s one problem: Lake County advertises itself as having the “cleanest air in California.” Burn permits COST $25 and my daughter (who lives in Upper Lake) says the Air Quality Control Board declares so few “Burn Days” that it is really difficult to burn defensive lines in the spring with any effectiveness. So that’s something that MUST change. Safety MUST come before tourist dollars. Lake AQ needs a lawsuit! (The County AQ Boards are independent of the State.) af

      • How about mulching it instead of burning it?

        • I use a chipper myself, on the “flat” areas of my land. Otherwise making mulch piles makes sense unless the fire gets to them – in which case they become “hot spots” with flying embers. Dealing with large Mountain areas is only cleared by burning. af

      • Karen Lambert Evans

        Clearing the land makes sense to me….keep the safety perimeters as recommended. Ask for help and sometimes it actually happens. Volunteering is appropriate and so needed.

        Praying for all of you…we lived in Clearlake 35 years. (in “The Village”)

    • I would even be willing to go up into the woods and clear brush. I bet alot of us residents would be willing to. You have a GREAT idea!

  • Any word on a little resort place called Clearlake Cottages and Marina? We just stayed there, they are such awesome people. Would love to hear they are ok.

  • How about Clearlake Oaks?

  • Even further away. They are north of the cottages.

  • I just drove past this fire on Hwy 20. Never seen so many fire crews on the road. I had to pull over repeatedly to let them all get by. So many cars trying to evacuate as well. The smoke completely blocked out the sun. Thoughts and prayers to everyone involved!

  • Is lake apt burning behide the gas station?? I’m from there but live in redding now!!please everyone pray pray pray for this fire to end and every body to be safe!! My Heart is breaking!! Thank you fire fighters!!! Oh God…

  • Picture of the smoke plume as seen from Lakeport (24 miles away) with Mount Konocti in between.

  • any update on the avenues ? Hospital ?

  • Thanks Kym, appreciate the info.

  • OMG!! We lived in Copsy Creek area in Lower Lake from 1993 to 2008. Quarterhorse Ln, Mustang Ct, Riverview Dr–sounds pretty grim for that whole area, huh?

    God Bless and protect the first responders, fire fighters, and residents of affected areas

    Thanks for providing resource for information

  • My sister lives in Twin Lakes, is the fire burning West? Should she evacuate tonight? I’m worried for her,dogs&horses…Prayers to ALL!

    • Probably a good idea for her to have horse trailer/food/dog/self ready to go. The Middletown vet has some links to good writeups about evacuating critters on their twitter feed.
      Best and blessings, better to get out sooner than later

    • As of right now the fire is still burning north of twin lakes and moving north. The sheriffs are doing door to door evacuations and have been giving people plenty of warning when they should prepare to evacuate. My guess is twin lakes is safe for now and will remain safe if the fire stays moving in the direction it is.

  • If you can find out any info on Bonham Rd specifically, that would be appreciated. We have family that was evacuated earlier and hoping the home is safe. Doesn’t look good though sadly, but would appreciate any info.

    • There are videos on facebook posted of a man driving through bonham. Many of the houses are still there. He stops and records each house so u would be able to see weather yours is ok or not.

  • We also have family on Bonham Road (mobile home near vineyards), and would appreciate any updates or information.

  • If you hear anything on the Avenues please let me know My 71 year old mother was evacuated and is at a park with her 2 dogs that she will not leave. Her house is on 33rd ave. It is all she has.

  • Linda, from Moose Lodge confirms they are open for evacuations. I know they helped out a lot last year too.

    MOOSE LODGE 2284
    15900 E Highway 20
    P.O. BOX 906

  • My kids in Twin Lakes are still home. West side of 29, south of northern Spruce Grove Rd and Hwy 29.

  • Does anyone know if the fire has burned the high school/cemetery area?

    • I read that the gym at the high school caught fire I will try and find a link to the article and fire is on site near the cemetery according to scanner traffic

  • Can’t remind people enough – have an escape plan…..

  • Trying to get more info on Big Bear & Pebble Road neighborhood in Lower Lake…. Can’t seem to find anything…. the live feed from ABC 7 News earlier kept glazing over the area, but wouldn’t focus around there. It was hard to tell WHERE the neighborhood was from the quick panning of their camera. Any help?

  • Any idea how far back Morgan valley rd burned. Been road blocked for 2 days. Have 3 dogs inside home they wont let me in to retrieve.

  • Lynnette Monrean

    I join hands with everyone here, in prayer, and pray in agreement that everyone is safe, including residents, firemen, animals, pets, etc. I pray that this fire will be contained soon as well. May God comfort you all in your time of need.

  • Any word on Hidden Valley subdivision?

  • Prayers for Lake Co.

    Live scanner feed of firefighters:


  • During the 2015 Lake County Fires, the following organization facilitated donations. There are doing so again:


    They are seeking monetary donations. The Social Service Director stated at the 8pm news conference that MONETARY donations are needed at that time. THey were inundated with inappropriate in-kind donations last year. MONEY! That’s what they need.

  • As of 8:45 pm the fire is 5% contained.

    Twenty strike teams are on the way: 100 engines and tankers and many firefighters.

    Lake Transit is picking up evacuees in Clearlake who have no way to leave; they have been directed to wait at closest bus stop.

  • Sheriff just stated (8:50pm) : “We had no idea this morning that we would be here this evening. At 1pm the fire took a turn and headed very quickly toward Lower Lake.”

    CDF official stated: “Last year we heard comments that ‘fire behavior is unlike anything we have ever seen before.’ We are hearing that again.”

  • Animal kennels have been set up for domestic pets at Kelseyville High School.

    Service animals are always welcome at all evacuation centers.

  • I know that hindsight is easy, but why isn’t there a 100 yard buffer zone around these areas that interface with wildland fire prone areas? I know it is not easy in areas where folks sprawl into the wilds (like I do) but it seems a buffer zone would be a proactive approach to wildfires here in the Northwest.

    BTW, I have a huge zone around my place that fires can not jump. I went through the fires in 2008 and had 90%of our property line burned. We sheltered in place and had no problems.

  • Are any of the houses on Quarter Horse Ln still standing?

  • Mighty fine piece of video journalism, Matthew Henderson. Thank You.

  • Does anyone know the status of the Avenues?
    I missed the beginning of the press conference.

  • Looks like hell on earth does anybody know how it started arso maybe?

  • How is Eagles Nest Storage in Kelseyville? I have a storage unit there, my entire life.

  • I’m so heartbroken spent many summers there with my grandparents in lower lake.im praying for everyone’s safety!!!such memories.be safe.our brave firefighters.

  • Does anyone know if any/how many homes on Bryant Rd have been lost?

  • Does anyone know if lower lake cemetery has been affected ? 🙁

  • Outstanding reporting, Kym, thank you for this. My thoughts & prayers to all involved in this horrible trajedy.

  • Does anyone know anything about the Kelseyville Highland. My daughter is stuck up there.

  • May Hollow Road? Any word is appreciated.

    • I live on May Hollow (am out of town) but my husband is at home. Fire started right by storage units on 29 but blew opposite direction of Twin Lake, then blew back again yesterday and devoured Lower Lake town. Currently still moving to the north. Praying they get it under control today

  • Praying praying praying!!may God be with you all!!!

  • Does anyone know if Bevens St. is safe??????

  • Thank you kym for the updates!!this is Angela my whole family lives there,I’m trying to get ahold of my brother Tony Sanchez and his family they live on 22nd across from highway..is that burning?? I’m in redding now thinking about driving down!! Can I get through??? My Heart is so sad please God shower us with rain!!! Thank you so much Firefighters!!! I’m praying in the name of JESUS!!let’s ALL keep praying!!!

  • Bevens is 20 miles away and eagles nest is 10 miles get it together [edit–note from the editor: People are scared and some are neither map savvy nor computer savvy. Please don’t call them names. Ignore them if you get too frustrated. I’ll try to answer if I have time.]

  • Outstanding article. Thank you.
    I am praying for all the people, and the wildlife who will not make it out or have their homes rebuilt.
    More than a million thanks to every firefighter: please come home safe.

  • Virginia Graziani

    Hi, Kym & all — many thanks for the GREAT reporting and comments. Much better than anything local.

  • Does anyone know if its possible to enter clearlake coming from the Lakeport area???

    • No. 53 is closed from the intersection with 29 to Olympic Dr. I think you can get into Clearlake from the north but I’m not sure.

  • Does anyone know the if there are structures standing in and around Bryant Rd., the cemetery and high school area?

  • Does anyone have a link to a current fire map? I am in hidden valley and no internet, cell phone network jammmed up..no cable tv so just tryin to find link to current map.

    I also have room to foster some pets if anyone needs a place for their pooches. Hoping everyone has found a safe place to be! God bless

  • Not calling names some of us lost it all and people into and eagle nest do not have the prob we have worry about the good folks in ll that lost it all not the stuff in storage you don’t care about bs we lost it all me and my boy 2 houses and a business

  • Kimberly Atherton

    I’m in San Diego, my father is currently in Washington. I’m trying to find out about his property/home at 17600 Morgan Valley Rd. He rents it out but we cannot contact the renters.

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