In One Day, Pawnee Fire in Lake County Sweeps Over 7,700 Acres, Burns a Dozen Structures

Pawnee Fire burning off Pawnee Road and New Long Valley Road northeast of Clear Lake Oaks

Pawnee Fire burning off Pawnee Road and New Long Valley Road northeast of Clearlake Oaks [Photo tweeted by Cal Fire ]

Tonight, Cal Fire reports that the Pawnee Fire which started yesterday has engulfed over 7,700 acres and burned 12 structures.

A Red Flag Warning was issued yesterday for the area. Today the temperature soared to 98 degrees. On top of the heat, gusty winds and low humidity fed the fire.

According to a Cal Fire press release,

The fire burned very actively throughout the day in the Spring Valley area, north east of Clearlake Oaks in Lake County. The fire is being driven by low relative humidity, erratic winds, and above normal temperatures. Expanded evacuation orders are in effect for the entire Spring Valley area and residents are reminded to heed all evacuation orders. Additional resources are enroute to the incident.

Map showing the approximate location of the Pawnee Fire. [Graphic from

Map showing the approximate location of the Pawnee Fire. The pink area is in the Red Flag Warning area. The red and yellow dots show hot spots and give an idea of where the fire is located. [Graphic from US Wildfire Activity Public Information Map]

Hwy 20 is still open. However, according to Cal Fire, “New Long Valley Road is closed at Highway 20, Old Long Valley Road is closed at Highway 20.”

Smoke billows over the hills near State Route 20. Pawnee fire

Smoke billows over the hills near State Route 20. This is the view headed east as seen from a Caltrans traffic cam located about 2.5 miles east of Clearlake Oaks at mile marker 32.25.

According to the Lake County Sheriff, “CalFire has requested that all remaining residents in the Spring Valley area reduce their water usage immediately in order to conserve water for fire-fighting purposes.”

For information on evacuations, please click here.

UPDATE Monday: Pawnee Fire Jumps to 8,200 Acres (Maps); Twenty-two Structures Burned

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13 comments

  • Looks like there are going to be some busy tree transporters here soon… God Bless the families affected 🙏🏻

  • I am glad to live on the coast and not have to worry about forrest fire. My thoughts are for the people affected. My admiration is for the fire fighters battling it.

    • The coast can and does burn on occasion. Just more infrequently. Unfortunately, that fosters a false sense of security. Please be aware and vigilant, and prepare accordingly. Best of luck.

      • Eel River Valley (where I live) isn’t ever gonna burn as long as there is agricultural irragation. But I hear what you r saying

        • So the vineyards that burnt last year, how did that happen with agricultural irrigation?

          • Irrigated pasture is pretty moist year round and kept eaten down. Wine grapes are usually irrigated in spring and early summer then dried out for best fruit. Over irrigated grapes produce less fruit and more foliage which is good for burning too but all grapes are woody with foliage and burn well.

  • You could see the plume all day on the Oroville radar. That combined with no info today I knew the news tonight was going to be bad!

    • Calfire should not restrict logging on private property… created a monster… global warming changed the forest… only a matter of time… maybe if there were more firebreaks…aka fragmentation… this craps wouldn’t happen and folks could grow grapes.

  • Bless the beautiful elfin woodland, chaparral, born of fire. Knobcone pines will respond with a whole new flush of germination in the years to come.. stump sprouting manzanita, scrub oak, whole ridges of chemise and even pockets of brushy bay laurel..
    See the crazed branches of the gray blue ghost pine, reminding human residents to be humble and not build homes on top of ridges of brush, or if you do, build them subterranean like the animals do..
    Remember, fire makes the rules in the sun soaked chaparral

  • Can’t imagine what all these people have to go through, very sad Mother Nature can be so amazing and so deadly at any time. Prayers from everyone the people and there families all a sudden to go through one the hardest things u can experience in your lifetime in a instant. Every singe firefighter and personell doing all they can to do everything they can to help and save people/animals/houses they deserve a lot more than they receive !!!!!!

  • Couldn’t be more grateful, or on edge. Thank goodness for Kym, and all.

  • Land use conflicts with mother nature = a zero sum game. Canyon Oak is correct – “fire makes the rules in the sun soaked chaparral.”

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