The Clayton Fire has changed hundreds of lives in just a few days time. Lake County overall has suffered through some of the most devastating wildfires imaginable in recent California history, and this latest disaster has added to the county’s woes. Worse, according to local law enforcement, the Clayton Fire was the result of arson: Clearlake resident Damin Pashilk stands charged with multiple counts of arson and attempted arson.
This latest fire has burned for more than a week in southern Lake County. It has destroyed 299 structures, including 189 single-family homes and eight commercial buildings (see remarkable Press Democrat photo gallery). The blaze has consumed approximately 4,000 acres, both wild lands and a large section of downtown Lower Lake.
For local residents, these past 15 months are not likely to be erased from their memories anytime soon. In spite of the devastation and losses, the community continues to come together, to collaborate on recovery.
On Monday, a new community assistance center will open at the old bank building in downtown Lower Lake. Mental health workers will be on hand, along with representatives from the DMV, the California Office of Emergency Services, Cal Fire, the Department of Insurance, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Lower Lake County Water District and PG&E.
Learn how you can help the people of South Lake recover: Fire Recovery Support
California Fire Prevention Organization will contribute to the recovery efforts as well, and is working with the Lake County Fire Protection District to see what the most impactful and useful support will entail. Already, we’re working on providing fire safety education to Lake County elementary schools, providing smoke alarms to residents, and canvassing at-risk neighborhoods. Additional details will be available before the end of the month. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Northern California Fire Prevention Liaison, David Edward at firstname.lastname@example.org