CLEARLAKE, Lake County (CBS SF/BCN) –Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency Tuesday for Lake County to support the response to the Cache Fire, which has caused major damage to homes and other structures since it started three weeks ago.

According to a news release issued from Newsom’s office Tuesday, the “proclamation will help quicken removal of the resulting hazardous debris and ash, in addition to streamlining other public services for fire victims.”

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Newsom had previously declared a state of emergency in several counties impacted by the Caldor Fire, McFarland and Monument fires, Antelope and River fires, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires and the Lava Fire and Beckwourth Complex Fire.

The Cache Fire began Aug. 18 and burned 83 acres in the area of 6th Ave. and Cache St. Dozens of homes and outbuildings were destroyed and hundreds were evacuated. Many of the destroyed homes were located in the Creekside Mobile Home Park and the Cache Creek Mobile Home Estates.

A Lake County police officer surveys the damage at a burned property after the Cache fire ripped through the area in Clearlake, California on August 19, 2021. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

There were no deaths reported but at least one person suffered burns.

Clearlake officials said they did not expect the governor’s emergency declaration and welcomed the state and federal assistance that will be triggered to help the community with the millions of dollars needed in recovery costs.

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“I can’t believe it! Our indications since the night of the fire have been that there would be no state or federal declaration, because it didn’t meet the thresholds,” City Manager Alan Flora told Lake County News.

“We had learned recently that we would receive state assistance in clean up efforts, but it was unlikely anything else,” Flora told Lake County News. “We are so pleased that additional resources will now be available to those whose lives were devastated by the Cache fire. It took a vast array of lobbying efforts to plead our case.”

Lake County has endured a number of devastating wildfires in recent years. Middletown was the scene of the 2015 Valley Fire that killed five people. Lower Lake, that was the scene of the Clayton Fire. There were also the Jerusalem, Rocky and Pawnee fires, before the River & Ranch Fires that made up the Mendocino Complex, at the time the largest fire in state history.

By one estimate, 60 percent of the county has burned since 2012.

 

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