Update [4:00]: The Valley Fire has grown to 50,000 acres and completely devastated the community of Middletown. At least 1,000 homes have been destroyed, according to ABC 7.
After jumping in size to 40,000 acres in less than a day, the fast-moving Valley Fire has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in two counties.
The fire in Lake County was initially measured at 400 acres at 1:30 p.m., Saturday afternoon, but hot and dry conditions have helped it grow to the 40,000 acre blaze by Sunday morning. Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze on Saturday and countless homes have been destroyed. Unfortunately, conditions are just perfect for the wildfire. "It's moving incredibly fast," Cal Fire spokeswoman Veronica Barclay told SFGate. "It's very dry due to the ongoing drought and there is just a lot of fuel up here."
The four firefighters injured were air-lifted to the hospital after suffering second-degree burns. The cause of the fire is currently unknown with no estimates on any containment at the moment. An unknown number of structures have been destroyed in the fire, with officials confirming that the beloved New Age, clothing-optional Harbin Hot Springs did not make it, reports The Press Democrat. "It's pretty well destroyed," said Cal Fire spokesman David Shew.
On Sunday morning, Brown declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in several communities, including Cobb, Middletown, Loch Lomond, Hidden Valley Lake, and areas around Butts Canyon Road up to the Napa County line. Over 1,000 firefighters from 30 crews are battling the fire with more expected from join them in the effort, including, according to KRON, 15 engines from San Mateo County.
Officials have set up evacuation centers in the Kelseyville Presbyterian Church and at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga.
Meanwhile, firefighters have the Butte Fire, burning about 70 miles southeast of Sacramento, at about 20% containment. According to KCRA, the 65,000 acre blaze has already destroyed 86 homes.
Most houses are gone on Wardlaw#kron4news pic.twitter.com/hb8GmiaedP— jackiesissel (@jackiesissel) September 13, 2015