Rocky Fire, August 1, 2015. CAL FIRE photo.
(Our previous article about the Rocky Fire near Clearlake, California had been updated many times and was becoming large, so we are starting fresh with this article beginning August 2. It will continue to be updated.)
(Originally published at 9:35 a.m. PT, August 2, 2015)
The Rocky Fire east of Clearlake, California more than doubled in size on Saturday. CAL FIRE reported that it had burned 22,500 acres on Saturday morning, and a mapping flight at 2 a.m. Sunday determined that it had exploded, again, and has now blackened 47,000 acres. Two highways in the area are closed, Highways 20 and 16. (See the map below.)
The weather conditions on Saturday were fairly conducive to significant fire spread — 95 degrees, 21 percent relative humidity, and southwest winds at 8 mph gusting up to 17. The forecast for Sunday is somewhat more moderate — 90 degrees, 32 percent RH, and winds switching from the west to south at 2 mph increasing to 9 mph in the afternoon.
Combined with low vegetation (fuel) moisture, another 25,000 acres went up in smoke Saturday as the fire spread to the north and east coming close to, and in some areas reaching, Highway 20 on the north and 16 on the east. CAL FIRE reported at 7:45 Sunday morning that the fire had not crossed the roads. Firefighters were burning out or backfiring ahead of the fire in some places along the highways.
Map of the Rocky Fire at 2 a.m. PT August 2, 2015 (the red line). The white line was the perimeter about 24 hours before.
The Rocky Fire has destroyed 24 residences and 26 outbuildings, according to CAL FIRE.
Evacuations have impacted over 12,190 citizens living in 5,201 residences. CAL FIRE at 7:45 Sunday morning reported the following evacuations:
Mandatory: Jerusalem Valley area east of Soda Creek, Bonham Road, Quarter Horse Lane, Mustang Court, Bronco Court, Sunset Court, Morgan Valley east of Bonham Road, Canyon Road, June Bug Road, Cambell Ranch Road, Sloan Ranch Road, Sky High Ranch Road, Rocky Creek Road, Dam Road from the gate to the dam, Grizzly Canyon, Long Branch Drive, Lance Road, Cougar Road, Red Rocks, Meridian Road, Antelope Road, Mule Skinner Road, Flint Look Place, Moccasin Road, Roundball Road, Watertrough Road, Grigsby Canyon, Lucky Canyon, Remington Canyon, Walker Ridge, Walker Ridge Road, No Guns Road, Meriann Drive, Bear Valley Road from Highway 20 to Wilbur Springs Road, Wilbur Springs Road and Morgan Valley Road X Butte Creek Road.
Advisory: All areas including east of Hwy 29 @ Raita Road east of Hwy 53 north to Hwy 20 including Ogulin Canyon Road, City of Clear Lake, Spruce Grove Road, Noble Ranch Road, Black Bass Pass, Jerusalem Valley area west of Soda Creek, Double Eagle Ranch, Homes along Hwy 20 corridor between New Long Valley Road and east of the county line, Spruce Grove Road to intersection of Jerusalem Grade, Lake Ridge
Evacuation Centers: Middletown High School, Kelseyville High School