Thursday, 30 May 2024

Fire breaks out along Soda Bay Road

A Cal Fire helicopter drops water on the fire Thursday evening. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



KELSEYVILLE – Firefighters were able to quickly contain a fire that broke out along Soda Bay Road near Clear Lake State Park Thursday evening.

The wildland fire, about five acres in size, was dispatched at 5:21 p.m., said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Redhawk Palleson.

Several large columns of smoke in the area could be seen from Lakeport and across the lake on the Northshore.

At the height of the incident, Cal Fire – the lead agency on the incident – had one air attack, four air tankers, one helicopter, five engines, two bulldozers and four hand crews of 17 personnel each, Palleson said.



Cal Fire drops retardant on the fire. Pictured from across the lake in Lucerne. Photo by G. Morgan.


Fire protection districts from around the lake – among them nearby Kelseyville – were reported to be on scene, as was the Lake County Road Department.

California Highway Patrol closed the road from the west end of Clear Lake State Park to just east of Clark Drive near the Ferndale Resort while the firefighting effort continued. Power lines also were down in the area.

Windy conditions appeared to be pushing the fire up a hill, through timber and brush, on the west side of Soda Bay Road, in an area where homes are located. The fire made its way to the edge of a vineyard, which acted as a fire break.

Air tankers carried out about one dozen water drops on the fire, although they did not drop retardant on the vineyard.

“It's contained,” Palleson said told Lake County News at around 7 p.m. “Things are looking real good.”



The fire along Soda Bay Road was dispatched by Cal Fire at 5:21 p.m. Thursday. Photo by Dave Hendrick.


At that point, all aircraft had been released, but hand crews and engines were still on scene, he said.

Palleson said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The cause of the blaze could have been a nearby vehicle fire reported at 5:30 p.m. by the California Highway Patrol.

A gold-colored Cadillac El Dorado was reported on fire in the 6400 block of Soda Bay Road. Officials also had asked Cal Fire's air units to be on the watch for possible suspects in the fire's cause.

CHP reported at 10 p.m. that Soda Bay Road had reopened.

Harold LaBonte contributed to this report.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



A four-engine plane responded to the scene. Photo by G. Morgan.




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