[UPDATE 10:04 p.m. Reports of One Fatality] 62 Square Miles of Lake County Devastated by Fire, We Have Maps!
UPDATES at bottom as they come in.
Yesterday afternoon, flames rolled out again across Lake County. The area had already been hit earlier this summer by two large fires–the Rocky and the Jerusalem. This one, however, moved even faster then they had. It burned into several small towns. Cal Fire reports this morning that the fire is now 40,000 acres which is roughly 62 square miles. There is no containment. ( We have gotten access to maps of the fire created from information gathered as of 1:30 this morning. Here is a pdf. (Another added 9:26 a.m. click here. And here is a Google Earth map (New version 9:22 a.m.) They are rich with detail so may take quite some time to load.) (See embedded map at Updated 12:30 p.m. below]
Last night there were videos of entire streets flaming and houses crumbling. Four firefighters were injured. And, there were reports of people trapped by the quickly moving blaze.
Senator Mike McGuire called this blaze “unprecedented.”
— Mike McGuire (@ilike_mike) September 13, 2015
We’ll keep you updated on this post throughout the day.
UPDATE 8:26 a.m.: The dispatch reports from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) from early this morning are heartbreaking and convey some of the terror felt by residents. Here is one. “KAREN AND ROB – HOME IS BURNED BUT THEY ARE FIELD BEHIND IT.” And here is another, “[Female] OUT W/ CALFIRE – NEEDS ASSISTANCE TO EVAC CENTER.”
UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: Caltrans District 1 is asking people to not drive into the affected areas.
UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: Cal Fire’s incident page for the Valley Fire lists these evacuations and road closures,
|Evacuations:||Mandatory evacuations –Hwy 29 (Kelseyville) at Hwy 175 south on Hwy 175 towards Cobb, Red Hills Road to Hwy 29, Hwy 29 X Hwy 175 south to Seigler Canyon Road (south side of Hwy 29), Hwy 29 Tubbs Lane (Calistoga, Napa County) to Hwy 29/Hwy 53 (Lower Lake, Lake County) Butts Canyon Road to Napa County Line, including Berreyssa Estates, Butts Canyon Road to Pope Valley. Communities of Cobb, Seigler Canyon, Loch Lomond, Middletown and Hidden Valley Lakes.Advisory Evacuation:
Livermore Road, Summit Lake Road and north of the community of Angwin.
Kelseyville Presbyterian Church in Kelseyville and Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga..
|Road Closures :||Hwy 29 X Bottle Rock, Hwy 29 X Hwy 175 (Kelseyville), Hwy 29 X Red Hills Road, Hwy 29 X Seiglar Canyon Road and Hwy 29 from Hwy2|
UPDATE 8:55 a.m.: California Governor Jerry Brown declares state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties.
— Gov. Brown Press Ofc (@GovPressOffice) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: Seen from space, the Valley Fire is brighter than Reno.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 10:26 a.m.: Live interview with Cal Fire spokesperson on Periscope here.
Here is a quick recap.
In Middletown: one private school burned. All public schools still intact.
Harbin Hot Springs: “It was hit pretty hard.”
UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Smoke covers much of California. If you are sensitive, take precautions.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 11 a.m.: Our worst fears are being confirmed. Cadaver dogs are being sent for. The Press Democrat quotes the Monte Rio Fire Chief describing the nightmare situation:
Lake County deputies were going to search homes, believing they might find some bodies, said Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, who was leading a strike team of Sonoma County firefighters battling the blaze. “It moved so fast people couldn’t get out of Cobb. They have to get cadaver dogs to go up there,” Baxman said Sunday morning.
UPDATE 11:42 a.m.: Donations are being collected here in Humboldt to go to victims of the #ValleyFire in Lake County. If you would like to help, donations can be dropped off at Lithia. Check out Pay it Forward Humboldt’s page for details on what is needed.
UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: All Kelseyville Schools closed until further notice via the Kelseyville School District.
UPDATE 12:30 p.m.:
UPDATE 1 p.m.: Fire photographer writes,
— Bernie Deyo (@EPN473) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 1:22 p.m.: Cal Fire report here on today’s fires.
UPDATE 1:57 p.m.: Here is one of the firefighters injured yesterday.
— Chief Ken Pimlott (@CALFIRE_CHIEF) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 2:10 p.m.:
While crews have not had a chance to do a full damage assessment on the #ValleyFire (Lake Co) we know 100s of structures have been destroyed
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 2:27 p.m.: To listen to scanner coverage, click here.
UPDATE 3:44 p.m.:
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 13, 2015
UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: At this point, the firefighter’s continue to struggle.
Some news organizations are reporting that the Geysers geothermal electrical generation company may already have suffered some damage. Earlier, Cal Fire stated, “The Valley Fire Incident is currently 50,000 acres with 0% containment. The fire is threatening critical communications infrastructure in the Geysers area, as well as, threatening the Adalin Power Plant (Cal Pine).”
At 4:45 p.m. a incident commander requested more resources. “50+ acre spot fire on Pine Flat burning towards the Geysers…No real perimeter control.”
UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: As Humboldt County firefighters and crews from around the state pour into Lake County remember…
UPDATE 6:50 p.m.: Scanner traffic indicates that the fire is as far south as Hilderbrant Road on Hwy 29.
UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: Place to look for/report lost and found pets.
UPDATE 8:34 p.m.: A video of someone barely making it out of Anderson Springs in the Valley Fire last night.
UPDATE 9:14 p.m.:
UPDATE 9:20 p.m.: Multiple news agencies are reporting a AP story saying that there has been one fatality. As of 10 minutes ago, the chief Cal Fire spokesperson was saying,
There is a report of a fatality on the #ValleyFire. That report is still being confirmed with the sheriff's office.
— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) September 14, 2015
UPDATE 10:04 p.m.: Another good fire map can be found here. You need Google Earth to make it work.
UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: Check out this interesting map. Lots of information available if you click here.
UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: Reunite with lost loved ones. Post in this link here.