[UPDATE Sunday] Hwy 20 Closed; Second Wildfire Takes off in Yolo County; Civilians Reported Trapped

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

A Sikorsky helicopter prepares to refill its water hold on the Pawnee Fire earlier this week.[Photo by Mark McKenna]

The Pawnee Fire exploded this afternoon. It has closed Hwy 20, according to Caltrans. They posted on Facebook, “SR 20 has been closed from the junction of SR 53 in Lake County to SR 16 in Colusa County. Caltrans will reopen the highway as soon as it is safe, but there is no estimated time right now.

There is a new fire burning on Hwy 16 in Yolo County, too. It is called the Guinda Fire [Now being called the County Fire].

Lake County Sheriff issued new evacuation warnings and advisories. They are:

  • This is an advisory evacuation notice for residents South of Highway 20 between Morgan Valley Road and State Highway 16.  The Pawnee Fire may expand beyond containment and continue to move South with current weather conditions.
  • The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has ordered a MANDATORY EVACUATION for the Double Eagle Subdivision area due to a flare up in the Pawnee Fire. This notice affects all residents and businesses in areas near the Double Eagle Subdivision.  An evacuation center is being set up at the Lower Lake High School.  More information will follow as it is received.  Per the CHP – Hwy. 20 closed from Hwy. 53 to Hwy. 16.

At 5:04 p.m., scanner traffic indicated that there are trapped civilians in Lake County possibly on the Guinda Fire [AKA County Fire] but that is unclear.

Matthew Henderson, a well-known fire photographer, was live on the Guinda Fire.

You can follow him here.

Please remember that information gathered from initial reports is subject to revision as more facts become available.

UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: Here is the smoke from both fires:

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: The County Fire, formerly known as the Guinda Fire, is now 1,000 acres burning in grass and oak woodland. It is 0% contained. There are high winds and dry fuels which are causing the fire to spread rapidly with long range spotting. There is continued structure threat causing mandatory evacuations west of Hwy 16, between County Rd 63 and County Rd 78, according to the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center.

UPDATE 6:06 p.m.: Matthew Henderson is on the County Fire live. He reports that the civilians on the county road were rescued:

UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: The Northern California Geographic Coordination Center reports that the Pawnee Fire is now 13,750 acres and 73% contained but the fire has now spotted across containment lines causing a threat to the Double Eagle Ranch and immediate surrounding area.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: A helicopter on the Pawnee Fire had to make an emergency landing at the Indian Reservoir Dam. A mechanic was requested.

UPDATE 6:41 p.m.: Cal Fire opened a page on the County Fire here. It states, “Firefighters are at scene of a wildland fire near the community of Guinda. Fire is being driven by red flag weather conditions consisting of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidities. Additional resources are on order and en route to the County Incident.”

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: Smoke from the County Fire is blanketing Napa and some of the area.

UPDATE 8:11 p.m.: Mendocino National Fores is saying that the Pawnee Fire is now 13,850 acres.

UPDATE 8:17 p.m.: Cal Fire is reporting that the County Fire has expanded to 4000 acres.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: Cal Fire is reporting that County Fire ballooned to 8000 acres.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m.: Matthew Henderson is once again live with his very informative video. If you follow his site on Facebook, you will get a notification everytime he goes live.

UPDATE 10:10 p.m.: The Cache Creek Casino’s expansion video shows the fire burning in the hills. Go here to see the video.

UPDATE Sunday: Click on the following link for the latest information on the #PawneeFire and the #CountyFire. Hwy 20 Still Closed After Pawnee Fire Acts Up; New County Fire in Yolo Grows 16,500 Acres Overnight

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