Some Lake County residents nervously return home after evacuations are lifted

In Kelseyville and Finley, just south of Lakeport, the evacuations are over. But many residents, plagued by years of wildfires, are wondering for how long.

Kelseyville is coming back to life after evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday night. The town of 3,400 went through advisory evacuations to mandatory evacuations. Many people, grateful and glad to be back, left thinking they might very well lose their homes.

If you want to know what's going on in a post-evacuation town, all you've got to do is come to a place like the Brick Tavern, a historical spot where everyone knows your name. 

"I found out that we were going to be open today, and I've gotten a lot of phone calls already this morning asking it we were gonna be open,” said bartender and Kelseyville resident Christy Ney. “It’s is a gathering place for this small community,"  

"Very scary, very, very scary. That's why I was up on the roof of where I live and I was squirting it down with a hose and the tree down with the pitch in it, that's what was scaring me most," said Pamela Mills. 

"It was very scary. It was real scary because you don't know, I mean whether to leave or stay. But when they say mandatory, you want to get out because you don't really know how close the fire is to you," said Cissie Moreland.

But this is far from over, especially for Lakeport's 4,800 people. "That's definitely a concern of ours, the fire moved out of the ridges to the incorporated part of Lakeport on the northwest side. That prompted a large response into the community of Lakeport to defenders, to put out hotspots,” said Mendocino Complex Command Spokesman Firefighter Paul Lowenthal.

Even in an area where the fires burned days ago, there's still enough unburned vegetation that hot spots can reignite into major fires of their own. Dozers cut fire breaks and fire roads for equipment nonstop, part of the overall plan to thwart the flames. 

In unincorporated Lakeport, firefighters made a stand. They lost a few homes but most were saved.

For Wednesday night, Lakeport remains under evacuation. And, with so many flare-ups and blow ups, Lakeport still appears to be threatened.