MENDOCINO Co., 8/20/21 — The Cache Fire burning nextdoor in Lake County is 50 percent contained, having consumed 83 acres so far, according to an email sent Friday afternoon by Jacqueline Snyder, chair of the board of directors for the Lake County Fire Protection District, who said, “the situation has stabilized quite a bit.”
A total of 108 structures have been lost, including 56 residences. Snyder said the Creekside Mobile Home Park, which provides affordable housing for retired seniors, suffered heavy damage. That likely means the Cache Fire will have a lasting and serious impact on Lake County’s housing market. One individual suffered moderate injuries and was transported out of county by helicopter for medical treatment (at least in part due to a lack of capacity in local hospitals due to the ongoing Delta surge of the COVID-19 pandemic) but Snyder said there are currently no reports of anyone missing in the fire.
“Most evacuation orders have been lifted in the area,” Snyder said. “But in the areas with most damage, they are not yet open.”
Fire crews were dispatched to Clearlake around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday August 18 on report of a wildfire with structures threatened. Homes and schools in the area were quickly evacuated. At least six bus loads of students were evacuated from nearby schools and evacuation centers were set up at Kelseyville High School about 15 miles west. Road closures were set up on state Route 29 and state Route 53 as traffic backed up with people trying to get of the fire’s path.
“If you’re in Lower Lake you should probably get out of here,” Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said in a video on Facebook at 2:04 p.m. “We’ve got some pretty sticky situations going on here, this is a very very serious event.”
At least eight of the surrounding neighborhood’s Zonehaven zones faced evacuation warnings or orders (although all but one of them has since been allowed to repopulate). #CacheFire went viral, drawing regional and national news reporters up from the North Bay. The fire was first estimated at 30 acres, then 50 — but by Wednesday evening it grew to an estimated 80 acres — and it remains active Friday evening. An estimated date of control has not yet been announced. For up to date emergency information on the Cache Fire check the Lake County Sheriff’s Department page on Nixle at https://nixle.us/lake-county-ca-sheriffs-department/.
This was the worst fire to break out on the North Coast interior during this week’s dramatic Red Flag Warning — which caused isolated power outages all over Northern California through PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program — but it was not the only one. Firefighters in Mendocino County responded to at least five vegetation fires at the height of the fire danger between Tuesday and Thursday. In a bit of good news, the 50-acre Bell Fire on Bell Springs Road reached full containment Thursday evening despite the weather.
Here’s our previous coverage of the Cache Fire from August 18.