LAKE COUNTY (AP/KRON) — Firefighters overnight made more progress containing a wildfire, known as the Clayton Fire, burning two hours north of San Francisco.
A 6-square-mile blaze was 80 percent contained after destroying at least 300 structures, including 175 homes and eight businesses, in the working-class community of Lower Lake.
The fire has charred 3,929 acres as of Friday night.
More than 1,700 firefighters are battling the blaze that started Saturday and spread to the community’s downtown area and many residential neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, some schools in the Konocti Unified School District will open Monday for the fall after the start date was delayed by the fire. Schools in Lower Lake are still being cleaned.
The cause of the fire has been deemed arson. Damin Pashilk is charged with 14 counts of arson in connection with 12 separate fires dating back to July 2015 and one count of attempted arson.
All evacuation orders have been lifted, and crews hope to have the fire fully contained by Sunday.
Meanwhile, it is Day 6 for some evacuees forced out of their homes by the fire since last Saturday.
Those housed by the Red Cross at the Kelseyville High School evacuation center said spirits are dwindling as the days go on.
But the comradery between one another grows.
They said the bond makes time spent more bearable with light at the end of the tunnel, especially with the help of the Red Cross.
The resource also inspired those in need to do some good.
“Everybody is ready to go, they want something to happen,” evacuee Daniel Hayden said. “….I got a nice piece of property. I might put something together for those homeless.”
There are 12 evacuees remaining at the Kelseyville High School Red Cross shelter.
“We’re all helping each other, sometimes monetary with money, sometimes it’s just a hug,” evacuee Denis Quinn said.
That facility will close its doors on Saturday and move them to the Twin Pine Casino in Middletown.
Classes at Kelseyville High School will start Sept. 6 as scheduled.
A community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Highlands Senior Center.
Wells Fargo bank is helping victims by donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross. PG&E is contributing $40,000 to the Lower Lake School District and to the local Habitat for Humanity.
Kelseyville H.S. – 5480 Main St. Kelseyville CA, 95451
Seventh Day Adventist Church – 3500 Hill Rd E. Lakeport CA, 95453
Twin Pines Casino – 22223 Hwy 29 Middletown CA, 95461