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Police investigating reports of a death connected to the latest fire in Lake County. The Valley Fire first reported Saturday in Cobb has exploded from 40 acres to… last count… 50-thousand acres. CAL FIRE says they’ve had to ground air tankers and helicopters that have been the only way to drop water and retardant on the fire. They also can’t use spotter planes to track where the flames are spreading. The fire reported Saturday afternoon around 1:30 off Hidden Valley Road. There is no containment. 400 structures have been destroyed.

The town of Middletown decimated by the Valley Fire. The fire started Saturday outside Cobb and by yesterday morning neighborhoods outside downtown were flattened. The central business district along Highway 29 didn’t have too much damage, but the town of 1,300 near Napa County looked like a war zone. Cal Fire reports dozens of homes gutted and at least one big apartment building too. Residents told to leave their homes Saturday from Cobb, Hidden Valley Lake, Middletown and into Calistoga. See our website and Facebook page for exact locations of mandatory evacuations:

Bottle Rock Road, High Valley Road, Hwy 175 Cobb, 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. Communities of Cobb, Seigler Canyon, Loch Lomond, Middletown and Hidden Valley Lakes

Road Closures: Hwy 29 X Bottle Rock, Hwy 29 X Hwy 175 (Kelseyville), Hwy 29 X Red Hills Road and Hwy 29 from Hwy29/Hwy53 Lower Lake to Hwy 29/T

Flames fanned by winds whipped up the Valley Fire over the weekend. The fire which was just 40 acres Saturday afternoon was last reported to be 50,000 acres with no containment. Downtown Middletown had been abandoned and not too much damage done. But all around the downtown core was destroyed. A flower shop burned but most other businesses — including the grocery store, real estate agency and restaurants are still standing. Fire officials say they couldn’t beat back the flames because of the wind.

The Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties because of the Valley fire. This means the California National Guard can be mobilized to help with disaster response and relief. It also means state agencies can send personnel and equipment. It’s part of provisions from an executive order issued last month for expedited debris removal and fee waivers to help with lost documents like birth certificates for anyone affected by the fire. A FEMA grant has already been requested and approved.

A developer has demanded the closure of the Cloverdale airfield because he wants to build and upscale resort hotel along with million-dollar homes. Developer says his proposed $200 million Alexander Valley Resort and equestrian center will mean jobs and hotel-bed, sales and property. The developer says if the airport isn’t removed horses at his new equestrian center will be spooked and guests and residents disturbed. Some are speaking out about a potential airport closure. Some say it’s a valued part of the community and provides and alternate way to get in and out of part of Sonoma County if there’s a major. The City Council has asked the city attorney to look into the possibility of closing the airport.

The Gov. has signed a new bill to help provide access to groups without broadband. The bill supported by some groups in Mendocino County including the North Bay/North Coast Consortium and the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County. The money to be diverted to the state’s Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account then disbursed to groups who are trying to increase broadband access in rural areas. The bill encourages high quality and advanced communications services to all Californians.

Potter Valley had a fire over the weekend, but volunteer firefighters had it out in a half hour. The fire started Friday and early Saturday morning, firefighters were back on the scene to make sure no hot spots flared. They also removed burned out areas from the home that burned, it apparently gutted the home, but other structures nearby were spared. The fire department says it’s the only major structure fire they had this season. The cause of the fire is.

Several hundred firefighters have been on the Valley Fire all weekend that started near Hidden Valley Lake, moved thru Cobb and plowed thru Middletown. There was no reported containment as of late last night with the fire scorching 50-000 acres so far. There were injuries to 4 firefighters during the beginning of the fire fight. They were all taken to UC Davis Medical Center. They’re reported in stable condition with second-degree burns. The Lake County Sheriff ordered evacuations over the weekend, please visit our Facebook Page and the Lake County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page as well. There’s no exact number of buildings and homes destroyed. The Lake County Office of Emergency Services reported the Kelseyville Presbyterian and the Napa County Fairgrounds at in Calistoga opened as evacuation centers.

Power out to as many as 6,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers in Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake due to the fire.

The Lake County Emergency Operations Center is online and activated due to the Valley fire that started in the Cobb Mountain area Saturday afternoon. Lake County is still under a declaration of local emergency since the Rocky Fire in July. The board of supervisors had extended it on Sept. 1st to cover all fires in Lake County. Lake Evacuation and Animal Protection, or LEAP, has been activated for animal evacuations. Lake County Animal Care and Control is being used next to the Lake County Jail.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Services has a prerecorded information line set up at 707-263-2360. Residents being notified of mandatory evacuations by reverse telephone messaging, CityWatch 911, Nixle alerts and some door to door notifications. You can sign up for CityWatch at http://www.lakesheriff.com/ and click “Public Resources” then “Emergency Notifications”.

The body of a man has been found in Clearlake. Police investigating the find Friday as a homicide. Police say someone called to say there was a man’s body in a wooded area east of 12th Avenue. A young person called to report the discovery near a recently cut fire trail. Police detectives say the cause of death looked to be homicide. They report it looked to be a Hispanic man between 18 to 30 years old with dark-colored short hair.

4 Suspected Arson Fires reported in the Ukiah Valley within hours of each other. Fire Captain Pete Bushby tells Kwine News the first fire they were called to Saturday around 1:30 PM by the railroad tracks on Waugh Lane. Then another that night about 11:00 PM to the same location, another fire about 10 feet from the first fire. At 1:30 AM Sunday, Crews were called to a Clay Street location by the railroad tracks for a third fire that burned an outbuilding. And at the same time crews were sent to another fire in the creek bed by Pomolita Middle School. The outbuilding and some dry grass were the only things damaged in these fires. Fire officials say in these dry weather conditions, residents are being reminded to be vigilant in keeping an eye on their surroundings, report any suspicious activity and to please not approach anyone. To also immediately report any arson suspicions, smoke or signs of attempted fire setting by calling 9-1-1.

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