#ValleyFire in Lake County, California | Update 3


On Saturday, September 12, 2015 around 1324 hours the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received the first report of a fire [now named the Valley Fire] in the area of Cobb Mountain. The fire is located off of High Valley Road and Bottle Rock Road in Southern Lake County, California.

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Sacramento Firefighters are back in Staging after 36 hours on the fireground. Time to get some much needed rest. [Credit: Sacramento Fire Department]

This incident is being reported as a Disaster Event from many sources and being treated as such.


The Administrative Unit handling this fire incident is CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit

We have heard Command use Branches 1, 2, 4. Divisions Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, E, Golf, Hotel, Queen, Mike, November, Tango and Xray via Scanner Feed.  Division 1, 2, 4 and various Branches.


As of 2045 hours PDT on Monday, September 14, 2015 the fire has scorched 62,000 acres and firefighters have reached a 10% containment status.  However, there are currently 9,000 structures that are now being threatened with 585 homes and hundreds of “other” structures destroyed.

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A group of CALFire apparatus stop at the Command Center located at Station #60 and are stocked with lunches and refueling before heading back out on the Fire Line. [Courtesy: USFS-Fire California]

CALFire released this statement:

“Firefighters continue to take action on the Valley Fire by focusing on the public’s safety, structural defense, and perimeter control.

As more resources continue to arrive, they are being assigned to critical portions of the fire line.

Favorable weather conditions, created by lower temperatures and higher humidity, are assisting in firefighting efforts. As the weather cleared, firefighting aircraft were utilized to support control operations.

585 homes have been destroyed by the Valley Fire and hundreds of other structures are known to have been destroyed as well.”


Some homes were saved by tireless efforts by Fire Crews and Support personnel. [Credit: Sacramento Fire Department]


There are approximately 1795 fire personnel assigned to this fire event.

Equipment & Resources

  • 183 Engines
  • 43 Fire Crews
  • 3 Airtankers
  • 7 Helicopters
  • 28 Dozers
  • 65 Water Tenders

This is an increase from yesterday’s equipment:

  • 125 Fire Engines
  • 30 Fire Crews
  • 4 Airtankers
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    View of what Strike Team XAL2004A & #ALCOFirefighters faced at the #ValleyFire in Middletown on September 12 night. [Credit: Alameda County Fire Department]

  • 16 Dozers
  • 15 Water Tenders

Incident Cooperators

  • South Lake County Fire Protection District,
  • CHP,
  • CDC,
  • National Guard,
  • Sheriff Departments from: Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties
  • And many local governmental fire departments


Mandatory Evacuations

  • Hwy 29 x Hwy 53
  • South on Hwy 29 to Tubbs Lane in Napa Co.
  • All of Hwy 175
  • Point Lakeview to Soda Bay on Hwy 281
  • All of Bottle Rock Rd
  • All of High Valley Rd
  • Butts Canyon Rd from Hwy 29 to Napa Co. line (including all of Berryessa Estates).
  • The communities of Twin Lakes, Hidden Valley Lake, Middletown, Aetna Springs, Seigler Canyon and Loch Lommond.

Advisory Evacuation

  • Napa County: Pope Valley and parts of Angwin.


Red Cross 

  • Kelseyville High School 5480 Main Street in Kelseyville
  • Napa County Fair Grounds 1435 N Oak Street in Calistoga

Lake County

  • Highland Senior Center, 3245 Bowers Center in Clearlake
  • Big Valley Rancheria Gymnasium, 1002 Osprey Court in Kelseyville


  • Hwy 29 X Bottle Rock
  • Hwy 29 X Hwy 175 (Middletown & Kelseyville)
  • Butts Canyon Rd at Aetna Springs Rd
  • Hwy 29 X Red Hills Road, Hwy 29 x Hwy 53
  • Hwy 29 at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
  • Soda Bay & Riviera West
  • Hwy 29 x Hwy 281
  • Hwy 29 x Live Oak


  • 4 Firefighter Burned
  • 23,000 Civilians Evacuated
  • 1 Civilian Casualty **
  • Proclamation by Governor Brown for 2 Counties / State of Emergency

** At around 1350 Hours on September 12th when the fire was first reported, CALFire Fire Managers enlisted the assistance of the County Sheriff’s Office to start emergency evacuations.

The Dispatch Center soon would be become overwhelmed with fire reports, assistance with evacuations and welfare checks on relations still in the evacuation area.

At 1912 Hours, an assistance call was received in Dispatch to assist a disabled elderly female from her home on the Hot Springs Road.

At 1929 Hours, Officers and Deputies arrived to the location and found they were separated by fire pushing them back, unable to reach the fire engulfed home or through the fire ladened areas.

Knowing these men and women save lives every day and being helpless by the fire that kept them from reaching the citizen is gut-wrenching and heavy on their hearts.

After they were safely able to cross over the burned subdivision, attempting to locate the resident only to find the deceased victim’s remains.  The thought of them not being able to reach her until after the fact wreaks havoc on one’s heart and soul.  It never goes away and we are hoping fire crews are getting the necessary debriefing as they go off shift each time.

With that being said, a statement was released regarding this rescue attempt and what has happened.

“Sheriff Office and Fire Personnel are greatly saddened by this tragedy and we express our sincere condolences to those affected by this disaster.” – CALFire Fire Incident Page

Identification of the elderly resident is being withheld until notification of next of kin has been made.

To read a more detailed Public Information press release this incident, click on this weblink to review the .pdf —> http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentfile1226_1845.pdf


What is being said on the Fireground

  • Lake Co OES:  The Sheriff’s Office is actively patrolling evacuated areas. There are no reports of any looting as some have claimed to be happening. Patrol units are working to provide tight security in these fire-affected areas. Residents should be rest assured, Police have a heavy presence in the area.
  • Sacramento Fire Department:  As ash falls as far as Sacramento a 2nd strike team is ready to head out to the 40+ Sac area FFs so far.
  • Red Cross:  Register with Safe and Well website. This will help you locate missing friends and family, find loved ones and others.  You can also register to let the same know you are safe. [9/15/15]
  • CALFirePIO Berlant:  4 firefighters from Copter 104 suffered burn injuries this afternoon on the . Being transported to area burn center. [9/12/15]
  • Burned Firefighters:  4 burned firefighters from the . All suffered 2nd degree burns and are in stable condition at UC Davis Medic, says CALFire PIO Berlant. [9/12/15]
  • Lake County Office of Emergency Services: is activating the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) [9/12/15]
  • Lake Co OES:  LEAP has been activated.. Staging at the animal shelter in Lakeport. All available LEAP members please respond. [9/12/15]

What is being reported by Mainstream Media

  • KPIX5:   Pictures show damage to clothing-optional resort Harbin Hot Springs. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/09/14/photos-show-valley-fire-damage-to-clothing-optional-resort-harbin-hot-springs/ [9/14/15]
  • ABCNews:  Fire grows to 62.5 square miles as it burns north of San Francisco:  [9/13/15
  • Kent Porter [photographer]:  #Middletown HS students locate water shutoffs in burned homes. 1 student has even lost their family home.
  • Kent Porter:  Images of melting rims on vehicles are seen and captured frozen in time.
  • ABC30 Fresno: IDs the disabled fire victim whom First Responders attempted to assist with evacuations.  [NOTE:  We will not release info until CALFire posts this info on their site & it hasn’t been released yet. We respect the Family’s privacy.]
  • Ian Schwartz TV:  When the sun comes up the damage will be staggering. videos.
  • Ian Schwartz TV:  Very scary video. Woman gathers animals as approaches.

General Statements being Said 

  • San Francisco 49ers Football Team:  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the . Thank you everyone working tirelessly to bring relief.
  • FireTracker2:  I think just redefined Rapid Rate of Spread.
  • Randy Carpadus:  Not sure I buy that number 400 and 250 (Valley 2) to 10,000 in 2 hours? [9/12/15]
  • Chris McFarland:  Anyone know the most rapid spread on a CA wildfire? I remember that the Harlow fire in Oakhurst (1961) was quite fast. [9/12/15]
  • Bernie Deyo:  I can’t confirm any of this, but it sounds like they of had a shelter deployment on the & Req Multiple Ambulances. [9/12/15]
  • Lake Avenues:  .For those out of the area, the on Cobb is what folks may know as “The Geysers”. Both register frequently on quake meters. [9/12/15]


  • Lake Co OES:  Volunteers to assist with the fire are being urged to contact the North Coast Opportunities at http://www.ncoinc.org
  • Location of Donated Items: Need clothing, diapers, personal care items etc? Methodist Church in Clearlake has a huge stockpile from the other fires.


  • Evacuation Centers & Small Pets: Small pets are being accepted with evacuees at ALL Shelters.



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