|Chris Hallsted photographed the “Wye” Fire on Sunday, August 12, 2012, east of Clearlake Oaks, Calif.|
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AT 7:45 P.M. WITH A NEW ACREAGE ESTIMATE.
CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. – Two fires that began burning along Highway 20 Sunday afternoon had burned thousands of acres by evening.
The “Wye” Fire – named for the “Y,” the nickname for the intersection of Highway 20 and Highway 53 – was reported shortly before 4 p.m. and by 7 p.m. had ballooned to about 3,000 acres, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson.
Within an hour, the Wye Fire was up to 5,000 acres, Cal Fire reported.
“It is burning on both sides of Highway 20 and it’s burning in an easterly direction toward the community of Spring Valley,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said the Spring Valley evacuations were mandatory.
No injuries were reported, but one structure had been destroyed, she said.
Shortly before 8 p.m. the California Highway Patrol reported that about 30 vehicles were being escorted out of Spring Valley.
The Walker Fire, which had been reported shortly before the Wye, had reached 300 acres, according to Hutchinson.
It was burning in grass and oak woodlands, with a hot springs ahead if it, she said.
Earlier in the afternoon fire officials had reported that Wilbur Hot Springs had been evacuated, as had some areas inside the Colusa County line.
Air resources were hitting both fires aggressively from the air.
Reports from the scene indicated that the Walker Fire could get to 1,000 to 1,200 acres before it’s done.
Caltrans reported that Highway 20 between Highway 16 and Highway 53 was remaining closed Sunday evening due to the fires.
Additional updates will be posted as more information becomes available.
Email Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
|The “Wye” Fire near Clearlake Oaks, Calif, which began on Sunday, August 12, 2012. Photo by Cheryl Johns.|