Thousands evacuated as wildfire tears across Northern California

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LOWER LAKE, Calif. — Four thousand people have been forced to flee their homes as a fire rages across Northern California.

Residents in Lower Lake and Clearlake have been evacuated, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The area sits around 130 miles north of San Francisco.

“The fire is burning aggressively towards the north, crossing Morgan Valley Road and Cache Creek, and is impacting the communities of Lower Lake and Clearlake,” Cal Fire said.

The blaze, known as the Clayton Fire, has scorched 3,000 acres so far, the Clayton Fire Department said, with 5% of it contained.

A thousand homes are threatened by the fire, Cal Fire said, while 100 structures are damaged and 10 destroyed.

Mike McGuire, State Senator for California’s North Bay, tweeted that the fire had reached Lower Lake’s Main Street.

An estimated 800 firefighters have been deployed, according to CNN affiliate KGO, but Sunday’s afternoon winds and extremely dry conditions were complicating efforts.

“You have the dryness of the fuels,” Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said, according to KGO.”You have the weather concerning us right now as the winds – and you have the topography that makes it very difficult.”

The area already suffered huge blazes last year when the Valley, Jerusalem and Rocky Fires broke out, taking several lives and destroying thousands of homes.

Cal Fire announced they had also secured federal funding from FEMA to help to battle the blaze.

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