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Clayton fire now 90 percent contained in Lake County

A day after the last Lower Lake residents were allowed to return to their properties, firefighters on Saturday night had reached 90 percent containment of the Clayton fire.

The fire has burned for a week in southern Lake County and destroyed 299 structures, including 189 single-family homes and eight commercial buildings. The blaze has consumed nearly 4,000 acres, both wildlands and a large section of downtown Lower Lake.

Firefighters are assisting returning homeowners and working to minimize effects of the fire’s damage. Inspection teams continue to survey the area to determine the number of structures that were damaged or destroyed.

On Friday, fire officials lifted the last evacuation and re-opened roads in downtown Lower Lake, granting residents there access to find out what was left of their properties.

The number of fire personnel battling the blaze has dropped to about 1,000 from more than 2,100 on Thursday morning. Officials hope to fully contain the fire early this week.

The blaze, which began Aug. 13, is the largest of a dozen fires that Clearlake resident Damin Pashilk is charged with setting over the past year. Pashilk, 40, was arrested Monday and charged Wednesday with starting 12 fires and attempting to start a 13th. He has yet to enter a plea.

An assistance center is slated to open today at the Lower Lake Adult Services center at 16170 Main St.

On Monday it will move to 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.

PG&E advised people to avoid electrical wires on the ground and call PG&E at ?800-743-5000 if there are downed power lines. For additional information on available services, go to LakeCountyRecovers.com.

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