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Arson Suspect Under Arrest In Connection With Clayton Fire

Josh Edelson / AP

Firefighters battle flames as a house burns in Lower Lake, Calif., on Aug. 14, 2016.

Josh Edelson / AP


UPDATE 8:20 p.m.: Authorities said they have arrested a man on multiple charges of arson in connection to the Clayton Fire, which has burned 4,000 acres and destroyed 175 structures in Lake County.

CAL FIRE law enforcement officers say 40-year-old Damin Anthony Pashilk, of Clearlake, is a suspect in multiple fires in Lake County, including the latest blaze in the area.

Pashilk was booked into the Lake County Jail on 17 counts of arson, charges that include enhancements for the destruction of homes and businesses.


UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Lake County as the Clayton Fire continues burning Monday.  

The blaze has burned 4,000 acres, destroyed at least 175 homes and is 5 percent contained.

Earlier Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved California's request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Clayton Fire. 


UPDATE 2:55 p.m. The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved California's request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Clayton Fire Monday. Authorized federal funds will be used to help combat the fire burning in Lake County.  

CAL FIRE says the fire in Lake County has destroyed 175 structures. The blaze has grown to 4,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.


UPDATE 9:21 a.m.  The Clayton Fire in Lake County has destroyed 175 structures, according to CAL FIRE.

UPDATE: 7:15 a.m.: Lake County residents affected by the Clayton Fire are bracing for bad news. 

"There are homes that have burned down, and I'm sure that mine will be one of them," says Lower Lake resident Susan Smith, who spoke with The California Report. 

Smith says she fears her home will be one of the many lost in the blaze, which is burning north of Napa. Flames reached downtown Lower Lake Sunday, destroying several businesses and at least 10 homes. 

Smith fled to an evacuation center with two of her sons. 

"(There are) so many people here that I know that are in the same predicament as I am, " she says. "And I guess we just have to be strong. I mean there's miracles, but at this point, the neighborhood that I have lived in since 1999 ... many homes have already (been) lost," she says.

The Clayton Fire exploded Sunday evening and now covers 3,000 acres. About 4,000 people in the area remain under orders to evacuate. That includes staff and patients at Saint Helena Hospital in Clearlake. The fire is burning in the same part of Lake County where three other wildfires burned a year ago, killing four people and destroying more than 1,000 homes.

One of the businesses lost over the weekend in downtown Lower Lake was a Habitat for Humanity Office. Staff had been working to rebuild homes lost in last year's fires.

-The California Report


UPDATE 6:57 a.m.: CAL FIRE says the Clayton Fire in Lake County has destroyed more than 100 structures.

The blaze is currently at 3,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

 

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Department, Highway 53 is open to traffic between Olympic Drive and Highway 20. Closures are in place between Olympic Drive and Highway 29. 

Evacuation shelters have been set up at the following locations:

  • Twin Pine Casino – 22223 Hwy 29 Middletown 
  • Kelseyville High School – 5480 Main St. Kelseyville 
  • Seventh Day Adventist Church – 3500 Hill Road E. Lakeport 
  • Clearlake Highlands Senior Center – 3245 Bowers Ave. Clearlake

Original Post: (AP) - Some 4,000 people have fled a wildfire that's destroyed at least 10 homes in two towns.

The blaze jumped a road Sunday and moved into populated areas, burning a post office, a winery and several other businesses in Lower Lake.

Some patients at a hospital in nearby Clearlake were transferred to another hospital 25 miles away.

The Clayton Fire is now 3,000 acres and is 5 percent contained.