When Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency for the Pawnee Fire on Monday, the fire sat at 8,200 acres burned with no containment. 24 hours later, the fire has ballooned to 12,000 acres with 22 structures burned and only 5 percent containment.
— CAL FIRE PIO (@CALFIRE_PIO) June 25, 2018
The devastating fire broke out on Saturday evening and has forced 3,000 people to evacuate from their homes. Mandatory evacuation orders in Lake County are in effect for people in the Spring Valley community and surrounding areas, according to officials. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is posting detailed and up-to-date evacuation orders on its website.
Although the Governor’s declaration will enable more of the state’s resources to be allocated to the ongoing incident, this is just another wildfire that has ravaged the impoverished Lake County community of just 65,000 people. In 2015, dozens of homes were destroyed by wildfire and the local firefighting equipment is not as strong as the community needs to keep the flames from spreading early on.
Lake County, Calif. “The fire is being driven by low relative humidity, erratic winds, and above normal temperatures,” @CAL_FIRE update: #PawneeFire burns 11,500 acres, destroys 22 structures: https://t.co/bLVHBxm7xT
— Ed Joyce (@EdJoyce) June 26, 2018
— Macy Jenkins (@MacyJJenkins) June 26, 2018
#PawneeFire continues to grow in Lake County and evacuations have expanded. Evac Center remains open at Lower Lake High. Big air attack this afternoon with the DC10, MD87s, helicopters and more. Huge regional response of additional firefighters and equipment continue to flow in. pic.twitter.com/30ZyrDal8X
— Mike McGuire (@ilike_mike) June 25, 2018
As smoke fills the air and firefighters from all around flee to the scene, it’s hard to determine how efficient the battle will be. Winds died down on Tuesday, giving the firefighters a short window of containment, but they are expected to pick up again Wednesday. The short term goal is to attempt to direct the fire away from structures.
#PawneeFire control objectives for today, aka The Box:
Keep the fire North of Highway 20
– Keep the fire East of High Valley Road
– Keep the fire South of Bartlett Springs Road
– Keep the fire West of Bear Valley Road https://t.co/W5cQab2qoO pic.twitter.com/1DEx7TYJff
— YubaNet (@YubaNet) June 26, 2018
As with any wildfire, locals are scrambling to locate their animals and loved ones:
— Jo Dee (@JoDee81290766) June 26, 2018
For ways to donate to general relief efforts in the area, consider The Salvation Army or Red Cross:
- Donate to The Salvation Army’s wildfire relief fund at https://deloro.salvationarmy.org/del_oro/northern-california-wildfires
- The Red Cross assists fire evacuees. They can also use donations; you can give online, www.redcross.org/donate/donation, call 800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Give to a California food bank that’s helping victims, but make sure they still need donations. Here’s a list: www.cafoodbanks.org/find-food-bank
- Visit http://volunteer.cvnl.org to register as a disaster service worker.