Valley Wildfire Update: Survivors Return Home, Assess Damage


After nearly two weeks of intense fighting by more than 3,000 fire personnel, the Valley Wildfire is 80 percent contained.

The fire claimed six lives, burned a total of 76,067 acres, and destroyed more than 1,200 homes in Lake County, placing it among the three most destructive fires in California’s history and prompting President Obama on Tuesday to declare a major disaster.

No longer under evacuation orders, thousands of residents returned in recent days to check on their homes and recover belongings. Property damage, while significant, only begins to describe the losses for many who now face the harsh realities of a severely impaired economy and the risk of unemployment. Local health centers and clinics anticipate a resulting increase in patients seeking care for emotional and physical health needs.

In response, Direct Relief delivered $26,615 in medical supplies today to the Lake County Public Health Department. The shipment contained masks, inhalers, medications, wound care supplies, personal care items and Emergency Medical Backpacks. Another 300 emergency kits left Direct Relief’s warehouse this afternoon for displaced families.

Direct Relief remains in contact with clinics in other counties affected by wildfires, which include the Butte Fire (84 percent contained) in Amador and Calaveras Counties and the Tassajara Fire (81 percent contained) in Monterey County.

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