A cyclist rides a bicycle beneath a smoke-filled sky on Warldlaw Street on September 13, 2015 in Middletown, California.
As of 2:45 PM on Monday, September 14, 2015, CalFire reports the 61,000 acre Valley Fire in Lake County near Middletown has destroyed hundreds of structures, including 400 homes. Mandatory evacuations and road closures remain in place as nearly 1500 fire personnel from 40 different crews battle this blaze that currently threatens up to 9,000 structures.
The Lake County Sheriff dispatch received a request to assist an elderly, disabled female with evacuation on the evening of Saturday, September 12. Deputies arrived in the neighborhood within 15 minutes but were unable to reach the home because the area was already engulfed in flames from the fast moving wildfire. After the flames subsided, personnel arrived at the burned down residence on Hot Springs Road to find the remains of a deceased person. Identification is being withheld until positive identification and next of kin notification can be made.
Over 11,000 firefighters are battling 12 large fires across California. While temperatures are cooler than they were last week, conditions remain extremely dry and windy, which allow fires to burn at a rate rapid.
With major destruction in settled areas from the Valley Fire and the Butte Fire, fire officials advise the public to spend some time to ensure they are prepared for wildfires. Everyone should have an evacuation plan and know what items they would take if a fire threatened their area.