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Crews Gain Ground on Clayton Fire; Arson Suspect Due in Court

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LOWER LAKE (AP) — As Northern California evacuees returned to their homes, fire crews overnight gained more ground on a blaze burning about two hours north of San Francisco.

About 4,000 people in the town of Clearlake were allowed to return home Tuesday and more could follow Wednesday.

The fire that started Aug. 13 destroyed 175 homes and other structures in the working-class town of Lower Lake.

Authorities on Monday arrested 40-year-old construction worker Damin Anthony Pashilk, who they say is responsible for setting the fire along with 16 smaller fires dating back to last summer. He is due in court Wednesday.