In the afternoon of September 9, a fire began in Butte County. Three days later, a second fire started in Lake County, consuming up to 40,000 acres within the first 24 hours. Since Thursday, September 17, the fires have injured four firemen, burned down the towns of Cobb and Middletown, destroyed nearly one thousand residential homes, and killed five known victims.
Although it rained Wednesday, September 16 on both fires, the flames continued to burn through multiple counties of Northern California. Thursday evening it was officially reported that the Butte Fire was 55% contained at 70,760 acres and the Valley Fire was 35% contained at 73,700 acres. Both fires, however, were still burning strong and making their way farther into neighboring Napa, Sonoma, Amador and Calaveras counties.
Sr. Paulsen, a former Santa Rosa High School teacher, was affected by this fire, his home in the path of the flames. However, he, his wife, and dogs are safe at a Calistoga shelter.
In fleeing from their homes, thousands have been forced to leave behind their pets and livestock, leaving the roads dangerously filled with loose dogs, cats, horses, cows, and other various animals.
Firemen will be working continuously until the fires are fully contained, but even then, the devastation cannot be reversed. The victims of the Valley and Butte fires will be needing help and donations for months after the end of the fire.