Rocky Fire Grows to 27,000 Acres on Day 4, Forces More Evacuations

California Connection
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Firefighters continued their battle with the Rocky Fire Saturday night, but didn’t make much progress against the fast moving blaze that seemed to have gained a substantial amount of momentum since it began.

The orange glow of flames, blocked out only by bellowing clouds of the Rocky Fire’s smoke that covered most of the sky throughout the day between Lake and Colusa counties. Fire officials say there's no apparent end in sight for the blaze.

"We've got drought stressed vegetation that's bordering on dying and it's not helping us, and it's, this is indicative of the situation we've been in," said Cal Fire Operations Section Chief Steven Beach.

Beach added he's not sure how far the flames spread, but says they’re well on their way to 30,000 acres, if not more. More than 6,000 homes have been evacuated, and he says that number is expected to grow as well.

"Have your belongings ready to go so if the fire department at a moment’s notice wants you to leave, you leave right away,” said Beach.

"All I can think about is my children and something bad happening, it's so scary," said Jessica Cline, who evacuated her mother from her Clearlake home has five children of her own, and says she feared the fire’s impact on her family.

Cline and her children will take refuge at Middletown High School for the time being. Cline says she doesn’t know when she can return home, but prays she has a home to return to.

"I don't want to be in a bad position where everyone's trying to get out at the same time and you can't get out. I'm afraid,” said Cline.

A number of crewmen cleared the brush near Highway 20, a main thoroughfare, which runs through both Lake and Colusa Counties. At the moment, the highway runs along the same path as the fire, according to fire officials.

Public information officers say it's not a matter of if the fire will reach the highway, but when. They say the best-case scenario is for crews to prepare to minimize the damage.

"We have resources in place doing structure defense, our priority is to keep it south of Highway 20," said Beach.

Beach says the terrain, and the winds make that an especially difficult task, but a crucial one, as the highway is now the only barrier between this fire, and hundreds more homes.




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