This is a tough one for me to swallow since I’ve spent so many summer vacations at Clear Lake dating back to when I was a little kid. I caught my first-ever catfish from the beach at our friends’ lakefront home in Lakeport. My mom and I took a couple trips there when I was a little older and we stayed at a quaint little motel in the city of Clearlake (years later when I went back to stay in the same area with a buddy the resort and the town had fallen on hard times).
I thought of these memories amid the news that the fast-moving Rocky Fire burning in Lake County had spread and was threatening that same town I spent so much time in: Clearlake.
The Rocky Fire is the biggest, covering 54,000 acres, an area larger than San Francisco. It has already destroyed two-dozen homes, and upwards of 6,000 more are in danger. …
The fire started five days ago, scorching nearly 85 square miles of land northwest of Sacramento, forcing thousands of people from their homes. It doubled in size over the weekend.
“I couldn’t get back if I wanted to, and with the fire danger, I’m not sure I want to,” one evacuated resident said.
Authorities want to people evacuate early because the fast moving flames can cut off roads in minutes.
Just beyond the containment line, inside which crews work to box in the fire, lies the town of Clearlake, with a population of 15,000.
“If it gets across this line, we’d have to start this whole process over again,” Long Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Ohs said.
With so much ground to cover, crews are battling the flames from above and on the ground. Video from a National Guard Chinook helicopter captured how the military is helping scoop and drop water, and planes are dropping tens of thousands of gallons of fire retardant.
Best wishes to all the firefighters battling the blaze and to the people in Clearlake and surrounding communities.