Pawnee Fire Races East Into Colusa County; More Evacuations; Maps

A Sikorsky helicopter drops water on the Pawnee Fire in Lake County California

A Sikorsky helicopter drops water on the Pawnee Fire in Lake County California. 18 choppers are expected on the incident today. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

An expanding army of flames from the Pawnee Fire which started in Lake County northeast of Clearlake Oaks on Saturday marched mostly eastward from Spring Valley and overtopped Walker Ridge. By late yesterday evening, flames were spilling into Colusa County towards Bear Valley Road. The fire has now spread over 11,500 acres and is only 5% contained.

Heat map screen grab Pawnee Fire June 26, 2018

The Pawnee Fire expanded a little to the north and south but mostly ran east to the top Walker Ridge where it spilled over into Colusa County. See more map options towards the bottom. [Screen grab of a heat map file]

Residents fled as new evacuation orders were posted. Firefighters struggled to protect property–sometimes in vain.

The Pawnee Fire burned through properties on Spring Valley Road in Lake County.

The Pawnee Fire burned through properties on Spring Valley Road in Lake County during the last several days. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

However, for the most part, firefighters were successful.

A dozer cuts in a line around the Pawnee Fire.

A dozer cuts in a line around the Pawnee Fire. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

However, structures were lost yesterday. Cal Fire is still reporting that 22 structures have been destroyed but that number is expected to rise today as information is updated.

The Pawnee Fire burned through properties on Spring Valley Road in Lake County.

The Pawnee Fire burned through properties on Spring Valley Road in Lake County. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Lake County due to the Pawnee Fire. More resources are expected to arrive to stop the flames’ advance.

Cal Fire bulldozer

A Cal Fire bulldozer heads towards the Pawnee Fire on Spring Valley Road in Lake County. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Today, firefighters will be protecting critical infrastructure, including the Indian Valley Reservoir hydroelectric power plant. They will continue to protect the structures within the fire area.

After a calm morning, the winds picked up and the fire began to expand rapidly.

After a calm morning yesterday, the winds picked up and the fire began to expand rapidly. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Beyond that the priorities at this point are to try and keep the fire at Walker Ridge and keep it north of Hwy 20. Temperatures are expected to be in the eighties with light and variable wind.

[Photo by Mark McKenna]

An air tanker drops retardant on the Pawnee Fire in Lake County. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Today, Humboldt County crews will be back on the line fighting flames after a day of rest. We’ll update when we know more where they are placed.

Photos from Yesterday:

Officers searched the vehicle of the suspected looter.

With hills blackened from the Pawnee Fire behind them, officers searched the vehicle of a suspected looter. Officers located a loaded firearm and marijuana in the vehicle. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Possible looter Pawnee Fire

 Christian Hiran Campos, 30, of Ukiah, was arrested for being an unauthorized person in a disaster zone, possession of more than 28.5 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis for sale, transportation of cannabis for sale, possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and for being an unlicensed driver. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

A Sikorsky helicopter prepares to refill its water hold.[Photo by Mark McKenna]

A Sikorsky helicopter banks over flames from the Pawnee Fire. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Aircraft over the Pawnee Fire.

Aircraft over the Pawnee Fire. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

After a calm morning, the winds picked up and the fire began to expand rapidly. Pawnee Fire June 26

A column of smoke rising from the fire as afternoon winds began to pick up yesterday. [Photo by Mark McKenna]

Maps:

Evacuation and Shelter Information: For the most recent information, click here and here.

Earlier Chapters: 

 

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12 comments

  • Thanks Kim and Mark (great photos!) for the great coverage of this fire. Have friends living in the area and it helps to know what is happening!

  • Dang Mark, your doing great documenting down there. Thanks for the good pictures. Thanks kym for staying on the fires.

  • Nice photos and update on the fire. I was afraid this thing would turn into a monster. Praying for the safety of everyone involved. Please be safe.

  • You guys are killing it, great photos and reporting. Everyone stay safe and thank you fire fighters!

  • Great photo journalism, Mark. Keep it up.

  • Thank you fire fighters! And I love the police busting the low life scum bag looters! Praying the fire is contained soon.

  • Man’s attempts at controlling nature are the cause. Fires are a naturally occurring and necessary occurrence. Suppressing them only makes matters worse. Humans living in the urban/wildland interface do so at great peril. (As I do) Letting the fires burn themselves out reduces fire danger. Very difficult to do.

    • You’re mostly right. The Lake Co. Air Quality bureau allows very few “burn days” and charges $25 for a permit. The Lake County Chamber of Commerce touts Lake as having the “cleanest air in CA.
      Some citizens are of the opinion that these 2 factors collude in creating inevitable holocausts like the Pawnee fire, as well as many previous disasters.
      The Lake Co Air Quality bureaucrats are autonomous. The Chamber of Commerce is… well… you know…The Chamber of Commerce.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Just be sure, Neverwrong, that when and if the fire comes to your door that you have conspicuous signs out: Do Not Spray water, do not drop borate retardant, do not assist, do not resuscitate. Also: leave me alone government intruders.

      The big problem is too many people on the planet and changing climate.

      Thank you firefighters and thank you LEO’s for rounding up looting scum. Great job.

  • Nice to see houses saved from the fire. Great work fire crews!

  • Lake County Not So Bad

    Great progress being made. I can see only two small spots of smoke on Chalk Mt, no fire anywhere, the air is clearing nicely and the power is back on.

    Thank you RHB and team for the best coverage.

  • Thank you for your up dates, I have Family and friends and a house in Magalia. Also I love the pictures maybe I will see more courageous men and woman whom give so much of themselves and are truly admired by me. Be Safe and thanks again.

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