50,000-Acre Valley Fire Destroys Hundreds of Homes, Other Structures in NorCal; Brown Issues Declaration of Emergency

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An untamed Northern California wildfire raged Sunday, forcing chaotic evacuations, consuming hundreds of homes and businesses, and outrunning the efforts of a growing army of firefighters to corral it.

By Sunday evening, the Valley fire in Lake County had spread along two fronts to burn more than 50,000 acres, or 75 square miles. An official with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, put the level of containment at zero.

Sheriff Brian Martin described the fire as “the worst tragedy Lake County has ever seen.”

Investigators were trying to confirm a report that a civilian had died, according to Cal Fire. Four firefighters injured early in the fight were in stable condition, state fire officials said. More than 1,400 firefighters have been deployed.

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