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Valley Fire: Containment Up To 35 Percent, 70,200 Acres Burned

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

7:05 p.m. - Cal Fire says the Valley Fire has grown slightly, to 70,200 acres, with containment moving up to 35 percent as of Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service reports 0.25 inches of rain fell today in the area of the Valley Fire, aiding firefighting efforts.

Damage assessment to date shows 585 homes burned, with hundreds more structures known to be lost. There are 7,650 structures still threatened by the fire.

More than 3,100 personnel are still working the fire, which began in Lake County the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 12, and quickly spread into Napa, and now, Sonoma counties.

9 a.m.  - The Valley Fire is still scorching parts of Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties this morning. Fire crews have the 70,000 acre blaze 30 percent contained.

Evacuations are still in effect on the northern and northwestern sides of the Valley Fire. Cal Fire's Richard Cordova says some Lake County residents got to go home Tuesday.

"Some 1,300 residents were able to go back into their homes and spend the night in their own homes once again," says Cordova.

For some  who live in Middletown, Cobb Mountain and other small rural communities ravaged by the Valley fire, are waking up for a fourth morning at evacuation centers or other places.

Duane Harper is the general manager of Hardester's Market in Middletown.  

"I lost my home," he says. "My children also lived on Cobb, and extended family, and we lost all of our homes. So we'restaying in a travel trailer at a friend's place in Sonoma County."

On "Insight with Beth Ruyak," Harper says the Cobb Village area wasn't damaged too badly by the fire and is still intact.

That includes: the school, shopping center, gas station and post office. 

Cordova says the weather will help crews make progress Wednesday.

"The rain would definitely help us as far as our efforts for strengthening the construction of additional line around the perimeter, so we're hopeful that continues to come through," he says.

6:45 a.m. - In Lake County, the Valley Fire has grown to 70,000 and  remains at 30 percent containment. The blaze that started Saturday  has destroyed 585 homes.

Investigators working to find the cause of the Valley Fire have narrowed their focus to an area in the community of Cobb.

Cal Fire says investigators Tuesday were in an area near High Valley Road and Bottle Rock Road, where the blaze was first spotted.

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