Saturday, 20 July 2024

Firefighters battle string of fires

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – It's been a busy week of fire activity throughout the county, as temperatures have climbed over the century mark.


Over the last two days fires and downed power lines are among the hazards firefighters have faced, with fires reported near Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake and east toward Spring Valley on Wednesday and Thursday.


On Wednesday evening, firefighters responded to blazes along Old Long Valley Road and New Long Valley Road, as Lake County News has reported.


Northshore Fire Battalion Chief Pat Brown said downed power lines and exploding dog pine trees challenged both local and state firefighters when they arrived at the “Valley Incident” on Old Long Valley Road and the Pomo Ranch shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday.


Brown said the fire started when a tree fell into a power line, which tripped breakers and cut off power to the Spring Valley area.


The fire expanded into neighboring properties and had the potential to go further. He said additional equipment was requested and officials prepared for possible evacuation of neighboring residences. However, the fire was contained at a total of six acres, and none of the four structures threatened were damaged.


A second fire started from spotting from the first fire a quarter of a mile off the Pomo Ranch, and Brown said that fire, called the “Long Incident,” was quickly controlled at one acre of brush in steep terrain.


He said both fires were a unified command of Northshore Fire and Cal Fire.


Brown said Northshore Fire sent two battalion chiefs, two engines and a water tender out of the Clearlake Oaks station, one engine out of the Spring Valley station, one engine out of the Lucerne station, one engine and medic out of the Nice station and a water tender out of the Upper Lake station. Lake County Fire responded one engine under mutual aid. Total personnel responding was 21, he said.


Cal Fire also sent resources, with Brown noting that they had a full wildland response – totaling five engines – at one point.


Early Thursday evening a small fire that appeared to be a rekindle of the Old Long Valley Road fire was reported but quickly contained, according to reports from the scene.


Firefighters were on scene for several hours on Widgeon Way in Clearlake Oaks where a fire was reported burning just after 4 p.m. Power lines were down and residents in Clearlake Oaks and Spring Valley reported a power surge as a result.


Northshore Fire and Cal Fire responded, with the incident terminated at around 10:30 p.m., according to radio reports.


Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Brandi Ehlers said the company didn't have reports of damaged equipment from the Wednesday night fires, although they had a report of issues resulting from the Thursday fire near Widgeon Way.


In other fire news around the county Thursday, shortly before 4:30 p.m. a 50-foot area of grass was reported on fire near Ogulin Canyon Road outside of Clearlake, and was later contained.


A small brush fire was reported on Burns Valley Road in Clearlake near the Redbud Library, but radio reports indicated the fire was quickly put out shortly after 6 p.m.


The week's biggest blaze, the Indian Fire at the north end of Indian Valley Reservoir, was contained Thursday after burning for two days, according to Cal Fire. The fire was limited to 363 acres.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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