With new winds kicking up Thursday morning, Lake County authorities issued an “urgent” mandatory evacuation order for several communities along Highway 20 near the east shores of Clear Lake and to the northeast of the lake.
“The Mandatory Evacuation area is west of Lucerneat Bartlett Springs Road and Highway CA-20, south of the fire, east of the fire, north of Clear Lake including the communities of Blue Lakes, Upper Lake, Nice, Lakeport, WitterSprings, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley, Saratoga Springs,” the 9 a.m. advisory said.
Some of the communities listed, such as Lakeport, already were under a mandatory evacuation order, but Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said winds of 20 to 30 mph were predicted for the area.
“That’s ugly ground up there, it’s so dry,” McLean said.
The River Fire, part of the Mendocino complex of fires burning in Mendocino and Lake counties, has been moving through western Lake County since Friday afternoon. It has burned more than 33,000 acres and was threatening thousands of structures. It was at 38 percent containment Thursday morning.