Fire Evacuees Fear More Than Just Losing Their Homes. They Worry About Looters Too

LAKE COUNTY -- Bartlett Spring is on the ridge line just above the towns of Lucerne and Nice on the shores of Clearlake. The spring, and the stream that it feeds, are where firefighters are making a stand Saturday night, trying to protect those towns from the Ranch Fire making a downhill run.

Meanwhile, down below in Lucerne, fire isn’t what’s scaring people most.

Many of those ignoring the mandatory evacuations say they are staying behind because they don’t want to fall victim to looters.

“There’s been a lot of theft’s and stuff in the different areas. And that’s what I worry about,” said Jim Simondi.

Keith and Debbie Thrall were staying behind for the same reason, but now they’re getting out.

“It’s time for me to go too. I don’t want to, but what can you do when you have no power. It’s so hot inside, said Debbie Thrall. “It’s all in God’s hand now.”

The Thralls say power to their home was shut off this evening; it’s a safety precaution for firefighters, and to guard against further fire spread.

But it also means this couple has to heed the mandatory evacuation order and get out of their home.

“All the evacuations are packed. Mostly all the motels you can think of are packed. So, we’re headed to I-5 and hope we find a hotel where we can get a room and hang it out for however long,” said Keith Thrall.

They don’t expect to be back for days.

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