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article imageNorthern Calif. wildfire burns through town, torching 175 homes

By Karen Graham     Aug 15, 2016 in Environment
Lower Lake - Entire streets of the small community of Lower Lake, California, once filled with homes and businesses, have been reduced to a smoking rubble after a fast-moving wildfire roared through the town 90 miles north of San Francisco on Sunday.
The wildfire, known as the Clayton Fire broke out late Saturday afternoon off Highway 29 and Clayton Creek Road, forcing all 1,200 residents of the small town of Lower Lake in Lake County to flee, fire officials said on Monday. As of Monday, the blaze is five percent contained.
The fire, which burned about 1,200 acres on Saturday, grew overnight and on Sunday had become a roaring blaze of 3,000 acres as firefighters battled temperatures that reached into the triple digits. Sunday morning, the fire seemed calm, but wind gusts came up and stirred life back into the fire, reports the Standard-Times.
 What s left of Lower Lake Methodist Church. Pastor says it was cornerstone for community   writes A...
"What's left of Lower Lake Methodist Church. Pastor says it was cornerstone for community," writes Angela Musallam ‏in a Tweet on Aug. 15.
#Clayton Fire
The fire moved onto Main Street in Lower Lake and burned the post office, a winery, an antique store, a historic firehouse and the Habitat for Humanity office. "This fire roared through the city like a wave of water - it was a wave of fire that came through here," said Lt. Doug Pittman, a Marin County sheriff's spokesman working on behalf of the forestry department.
Bulldozer operators spent much of Sunday night and into Monday morning bulldozing a wide fire line along the eastern border of the nearby town of Clearwater in an effort to contain the fire which has spread to over 4,000 acres as of Monday afternoon, according to the ABC News.
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This latest fire is a heartbreaking reminder of what residents in the region went through just 11 months ago. In September 2015, just 30 minutes drive from Lower Lake, one of the worst wildfires in California's history roared through a series of small towns, killing four people, leaving one missing and destroying 1,300 homes.
Making matters even worse, many of the fire survivors today are actually "double-fire-survivors," having gone through wildfires last year. Store owner Ross Hardester told the Los Angeles Times that Lake County residents are devastated to be going through such a loss again.
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“You can’t imagine what took place,” Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said Sunday evening. “There was extreme fire behavior and winds that pushed it across the road into structure after structure after structure. We had airplanes dropping retardant, helicopters dropping thousands of gallons of water — trying to get ahead of this.”
The Clayton Fire is just one of several burning throughout the state. The Soberanes fire, a hellishly deadly fire burning north of Big Sur has destroyed 60 homes and burned more than 72,000 acres, claiming the life of a bulldozer operator. This fire is 60 percent contained.
More about Wildfires, Clayton fire, northern Calif, 4000 acres, extreme heat
 
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