Fires

Northern California wildfires: Pawnee Fire crews prepare for strong winds, Lassen residents evacuate

The battle against Pawnee Fire captured in dramatic images

Sacramento Bee photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. captures the early battle against the Pawnee Fire in Lake County that broke out Sunday, June 24, 2018.
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Sacramento Bee photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. captures the early battle against the Pawnee Fire in Lake County that broke out Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Some Lake County residents were able to return to their homes Thursday even as crews fighting the Pawnee Fire brace for a warm, windy weekend. Meanwhile, a new conflagration forced some Lassen County residents to evacuate.

Here is a roundup of the latest information on Northern California wildfires:

Pawnee Fire:

Where: Lake County, Pawnee Road and New Long Valley Road, northeast of Clearlake Oaks

Size: 13,700 acres, as of 7 a.m. Thursday

Containment: 40 percent, as of 7 a.m. Thursday

What's happened: The fire grew 200 acres since Wednesday morning, but is 15 percent more contained. It damaged two additional structures, leading to a total of six structures damaged, 22 destroyed and 600 threatened. No firefighters or civilians have been injured, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a news release.

Firefighters are preparing for warmer, drier conditions and strong winds over the weekend by constructing and reinforcing control lines, the agency said. More than 3,200 personnel are fighting the blaze that started Saturday evening, using 238 engines, 33 water tenders, 14 helicopters, 73 hand crews and 71 dozers.

New Long Valley Road, Old Long Valley Road, Walker Ridge and Mule Skinner Road all remained closed at Highway 20. Cal Fire is still investigating the cause of the fire.

Evacuation update: Mandatory evacuations remain in place for Walker Ridge, but the Lake County sheriff allowed Double Eagle residents to return to their homes Thursday morning at 9 a.m. People returning to their homes are advised to reduce speed and drive with caution, as fire personnel are still active in the area, Cal Fire said.

Those who are still under evacuation orders can congregate at the Red Cross evacuation center at Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake Street, Lower Lake. Residents concerned about pets or livestock are encouraged to call animal control at (707) 363-0278.

Hyatt Fire:

Where: Lassen County, off Hyatt Lane and Standish Buntingville Road, east of Janesville

Size: 383 acres, as of 7:24 a.m. Thursday

Containment: 40 percent, as of 7:24 a.m. Thursday

What's happened: The blaze started around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, Cal Fire said. Firefighters stopped its growth just before 9 p.m. Wednesday night, and are working to contain it.

Lane Fire:

Where: Tehama County, off Highway 36 in Paynes Creek

Size: 3,829 acres, as of 6 a.m. Thursday

Containment: 83 percent, as of 6 a.m. Thursday. Cal Fire expects the fire to be fully contained Friday.

What's happened: The fire has not grown since yesterday. All evacuation warnings have been lifted and all roads are open, and containment is improving due to "the aggressive work of firefighters," who are working around the perimeter and affected areas, Cal Fire said.

No structures or civilians have been threatened, although one firefighter was previously injured fighting the blaze. Nearly 900 people are working to contain the fire, Cal Fire said.

Creek Fire:

Where: Shasta County, Clear Creek Road and American Road, west of Redding

Size: 1,475 acres, as of 7:28 a.m. Thursday

Containment: 75 percent contained, as of 7:28 a.m. Thursday

Flat Fire:

Where: Tuolumne County, Highway 49 and Marshes Flat Road in the community of Moccasin

Size: 163 acres, as of 7:21 a.m. Thursday

Containment: 95 percent, as of 7:21 a.m. Thursday

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