Valley Fire - Lake County, CA - 2015
What Happened? - The Valley Fire was a wildfire that started on Saturday, September 12, 2015 near Cobb Mountain in Lake County, CA. In little more than 5 hours it had burned more than 10,000
acres and threatened homes and structures in the surrounding communities . By Sunday, the fast-moving fire had overwhelmed fire-fighting crews and burned more than 50,000 acres. Aided by hot, dry and windy weather condtions and fueled by trees and chaparral that had died and or dried out after years of drought, the fire engulfed much of the towns of Cobb, Middletown and Whispering Pines and parts in the south end of Hidden Valley Lake. The fire ultimately spread to 76,067 acres, killed four people and destroyed nearly 2,000 buildings. The fire is the third-worst fire in California history based on total structures burned.
The area burned is home to at least 10,000 residents. By midnight of the first day, scores of homes and businesses had been destroyed in Middletown, along with at least 50 homes in Cobb as well as the entire Hoberg's Resort, a historic retreat built in the 1880s. The resort community of Harbin Hot Springs was also destroyed.
The fire destroyed 1,955 structures, including 1,322 homes, 27 apartment buildings and 73 businesses. An additional 93 buildings were damaged. Multiple people were arrested for looting or attempting to loot from evacuated or abandoned homes as a result of the fire. Although the original cause of the fire is still in dispute a Cal Fire investigation has pointed to faulty wiring of a hot tub installation on Cobb Mountain as the cause of the fire.