CLEARLAKE, Calif. - Evacuation orders have been lifted for some areas impacted by the Cache Fire in Lake County as of Wednesday night after the blaze burned at least 60 homes and forced evacuations in the communities of Lower Lake and Clearlake, consuming roughly 80 acres.
People say their ordeal started hours earlier around 1:30 p.m.
"The fire is out. No reason to hold us here," one man yelled while waiting in his car at a road closure checkpoint on Dam Road near Lake Street.
After a long day of uncertainty in Clearlake, people with frayed nerves expressed their frustration.
"We left early this morning. We had errands to run. When we get back here, we can't get back to our house now," says Charlie Wilkerson, worried about his pet cat at home.
"To see it that close, it's terrifying," says Robin Humphrey who was evacuated from Cache Creek Apartments .
She says she only had time to grab her dog and a few belongings.
Her apartment complex near the mobile home park that was destroyed by the fire.
"It was really scary. It was the first time we thought we were going to lose our apartments. It was just so close," says Humphrey.
By sunset, people learned that the firefight was successful in keeping the flames from spreading further.
Homeowner Everett Brooks, who was evacuated, says evacuations are now a way of life and so is the uncertainty, "The property is still there. I built the house. I can rebuild it." .
At nearby Foods Etc. supermarket, the manager said power was cut for about 20 minutes due to the fire, but that the business reopened with the help of a generator.
"We get a little anxious. The firefight, we don't know how bad it's going to get," manager Teresa Stennett says the fire brought in extra business from customers buying necessities
"It looks like a bomb went off. It's huge. I can't believe how big it was," homeowner Earl Gossett says he was on his way to a doctor's appointment, but turned around when he saw the huge plume of black smoke.
"I feel pretty good. They got it out pretty quick. I was out driving around when it first started and it looked pretty bad," says Gossett, "I'm relieved they got it out."
Many people were back home Wednesday night.
Some say they're staying with family nearby.