Barbara McWilliams told her caretaker she didn’t want to leave her home near Middletown, despite a nearby wildfire.
Both Fire and Law Enforcement first responders reported to numerous requests for evacuation assistance in the Cobb and Loch Lomond areas.
The fire that sped through Middletown and other parts of rural Lake County, less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, has been burning largely unchecked since Saturday despite a massive firefighting effort.
“Firefighters from across California are aggressively fighting the Valley fire that has continued to spread in hot, windy conditions”, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Hittson said McWilliams could walk slowly and that her hands were weak. “I don’t think we will make this mistake again!” he said. At 7:29 PM, Officers and Deputies responded to the area, but were unable to reach the subdivision as it had already been engulfed by flames. At this time, the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center started to become flooded with calls reporting the fire, and citizens asking for assistance with evacuations.
Winds whipped new life Monday into northern California wildfires that have killed a woman, hospitalized firefighters, and reduced hundreds of homes to smoldering ruins.
Authorities say 585 homes are known to be destroyed, and that number was expected to rise.
Mark Ghilarducci, California’s emergency services director, said roughly 13,000 people have been displaced by the Valley Fire.
OCFA firefighters are also battling the Valley Fire in Lake and Napa counties that has burned 61,000 acres and the Rough Fire in Fresno County that has consumed 140,000 acres.
Throughout the state, more than 6,400 structures remained threatened.
In addition to the homes, officials also counted two apartment complexes and 10 businesses destroyed by the flames, department spokeswoman Lynn Valentine said.
Here’s a look at California’s largest wildfires since 1932, when state began keeping record. The fire, sparked by lightning July 31, has charred 211 square miles and was almost 40 percent contained.
Among the hardest hit areas is Lake County, where the hamlet of Middletown was devastated by the flames that left an apocalyptic scene.
Residents were evacuated and have gathered at local high schools, awaiting permission to return home to retrieve belongings.
“Whether you’re a rookie firefighter… or a seasoned veteran, everyone is saying the same thing: [We] have not seen fires spread and move in the way they’re moving in this case”, Cal Fire chief Ken Pimlott said at Monday’s press conference.