Valley Fire Grows to 25,000 Acres, Injures 4 Firefighters in Northern California; 1,000 Structures Threatened

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An emergency services strike team from the Sacramento Fire Department prepares for deployment to the Valley Fire in Lake County on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (Credit: Sacramento Fire Department)

Fueled by heat and winds, a wildfire exploded Saturday to 25,000 acres in Lake County, destroying homes, forcing thousands to flee and leaving four firefighters with burns.

The Valley fire spread so quickly that residents in Cobb and surrounding communities had little time to evacuate. Photos on social media showed towering flames descending on towns and jammed highways.

Evacuees crowded roads in the area, with firefighters warning that more than 1,000 structures were threatened. “It was a mad scramble,” Jerome Strach told the Press-Democrat as he helped get his 72-year-old mother out of the area.