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Valley Fire Grows To 67,200 Acres, Containment At 30 Percent

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio



7:15 p.m. - Cal Fire says containment of the Valley Fire has grown to 30 percent, with acreage burned moving to 67,200 acres. The fire, which started Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 is burning in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties.

 

8 a.m. The Valley Fire is still blazing through Lake County. It's being called one of the most destructive wildfires in the West right now.

At 62,000 acres and 10 percent containment, firefighters are being pulled from the rest of the state and country to join crews battling the blaze.

Richard Cordova with Cal Fire says they're hoping to make progress Tuesday with cooler weather and more humidity.

"The weather looks about the same as yesterday," says Cordova. "It's going to be a little bit clearer on the visibility side, so hopefully we'll get additional aircraft up to help the firefighters on the ground. And hopefully that brings up the containment number up this evening.

The Valley Fire has destroyed almost 600 homes and hundreds of other structures. About 9,000 are still threatened.

Valley Fire Perimeter Map 091515.JPG

7 a.m. The Valley Fire continues to rip across Lake County, and it's being called one of the most destructive wildfires in the West right now. At 62,000 acres and 10 percent containment, firefighters are being pulled from the rest of the state and country to join crews battling the blaze.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Smith tells the California Report almost 1,800 firefighters are working the Valley Fire.

"Firefighters from Southern California have moved up here to assist," says Smith. "And now we're receiving support from the state of Arizona. So like this past month, with all the lightning caused fires that ran across Northern California, we've relied on the assistance of our neighbors.

The Valley Fire has destroyed 585 homes and hundreds of other structures. It still threatens 9,000 more. 

Evacuation Orders: Hwy 29 x Hwy 53, south on Hwy 29 to Tubbs Lane in Napa Co., all of Hwy 175, Point Lakeview to Soda Bay on Hwy 281, all of Bottle Rock Rd and High Valley Rd. Butts Canyon Rd from Hwy 29 to Napa Co. line (including all of Berryessa Estates). The communities of Twin Lakes, Hidden Valley Lake, Middletown, Aetna Springs, Seigler Canyon and Loch Lommond.

6:45 a.m. - Cal Fire says the Valley fire has destroyed 585 homes in Lake County. Another 9,000 structures are threatened. It's burned 67,00 acres and is 15 percent contained.

CapRadio's Lesley McClurg walked through the town of Middletown, an area hit hardest by the blaze.

"The trees are scorched and blackened and yet there's some leaves on some trees and there's some buildings that are still standing," she says. "You know, residents have said 'Yeah, there was a whole community right there and it's just gone.'" 

The family of a disabled woman found dead in the ruins of her home destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire have identified her as 72-year-old Barbara McWilliams.

McWilliams' family says in a brief statement she was a retired teacher who had settled in the Middletown area in the last year.

Her caretaker, Jennifer Hittson, tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat McWilliams had advanced multiple sclerosis and had major physical disabilities that limited her ability to walk.

Hittson says she left McWilliams' home at about 3 p.m. Saturday. She says she realized how serious the fire had become after getting home and called authorities to go help the woman.

Deputies and officers responded to the area around 7:30 p.m. but were unable to reach the subdivision because it had already been engulfed in flames.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.