CLEARLAKE (KPIX 5) — Fear of looters has prompted some homeowners in the Clayton Fire staying in the danger zone to protect their homes.

For two days now the fire has burned within sight of Don Gorton’s home, with bulldozers cutting fire lines, and the aerial assault actually painting his property red.

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For most people in this neighborhood, the smoke on the ridge line and the evacuation order were reason enough to leave.

“Probably 90% of our road left.  There’s only me and two other people. We loaded everything up, the kids are freaking out,” Clearlake resident Brandon Givens said.

But there was also reason to stay.

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“Apparently there were two guys arrested in front of his house, the guy i was just talking to, who was worried about looting,” Clearlake resident Karl Mason said.

“I’ll move when the looters don’t have a chance to get at my place,” Gorton said.

So, staying means watching the fight, one pass at a time.

It also means watching the wind and the smoke – and knowing when it’s time to get out.

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“That’s it. Stay calm, stay cool and know when to leave,” Gorton said.