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Officials Confirm 2 More Fatalities In Valley Fire; 1 Evacuation Order Lifted

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio



3:30 p.m. - Cal Fire says the mandatory evacuation order for the community of Berryessa Estates has been lifted, to residents only.

Several road closures have been revised to support the return of residents to their homes:

  • The road closure located at Butts Canyon Road at Aetna Springs Road has been opened and is being moved north to Butts Canyon Road and Snell Valley Road.

  • A road closure has been established at the entrance of Aetna Springs Road.

  • A road closure has been established at the entrance of James Creek Road.

Valley Fire Community Meeting Today
5:00 pm, September 17, 2015
Napa County Fairgrounds
See news release

9:15 a.m. The Lake County Sheriff is confirming two more deaths in the Valley Fire burning across 73,730 acres of Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties.

The blaze has now claimed a total of least three lives and nearly 600 homes.

Mike Smith with Cal Fire says containment is now at 35 percent.

"Over the last couple of days the most significant fire behavior has existed in the southeast portion of the fire,  and in the northwest portion of the fire near the origin," says Smith. "We've been focusing our efforts there and been able to control those flareups that have occurred."

As with the Butte Fire, Smith says firefighters battling the Valley Fire are making the most of the cooler whether before things heat up again.

"Well, we know that with the warmer temperatures, in fact above average temperatures and much drier air, we might experience flare ups in the areas of the fire line that are still yet unsecured," says Smith. "So we're focusing our efforts there."

Across the state, nearly 14,000 firefighters are working to contain 10 large wildfires.

9 a.m. - Officials confirmed Thursday two more deaths attributed to the Valley Fire.

The death toll in this blaze stands at three.  

The Lake County Sheriff's Office says search dogs and other personnel found human remains located in the Hidden Valley area and the Anderson Springs area Wednesday evening.

Authorities say based on the location and evidence found at the Hidden Valley location, the remains are presumed to be those of Bruce Beven Burns, who was reported missing Sept. 15. 

The second remains found at the Anderson Springs area, the deceased person is presumed to be Leonard Neft, reported missing Sept. 14. 

Positive identification is pending.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office urge those who are unable to locate family members and friends since the Valley Fire to call (717) 263 - 2690.

7:25 a.m.  - Cooler weather is helping firefighters in their battle against the Valley Fire.  

The blaze in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties has blackened 73,730 acres and is now 35 percent contained.

Earlier this week, an elderly disabled woman was found dead in the ruins of her Lake County home destroyed by the Valley Fire. 

More than 7,500 residential and 150 commercial properties continue to be threatened by the blaze. 

The Valley Fire is ranked no. 9 among the top 20 most damaging wildfires in California's history.

Some mandatory evacuation orders are still in place:

Lake County
Butts Canyon Rd to Napa Co. line, including Berryessa Estates; Cobb; Seigler Canyon; Loch Lomond; Middletown; Point Lakeview to Soda Bay (SR 281); Hidden Valley Lake; All residences on Bottle Rock Rd, from Harrington Flat Rd; All residences on SR 175, Cobb; All residences on SR 29 at SR 53 south to SR 29 at Tubbs Lane.

Napa County
Berryessa Estates; Aetna Springs Rd west of Butts Canyon Rd.