California fire grows to 67,000 acres, 15 percent contained

LAKE COUNTY, CA -- The Valley Fire in Lake, Sonoma, and Napa counties grew to 67,000 acres and is 15 percent contained. Four firefighters have been injured. Several people remain missing. There are 585 homes that have been destroyed and 9,000 structures are threatened. Several highway and school closures are still in effect.

A 3.2 earthquake struck in the area of the fire this morning, but no damage or injuries have been reported.

DONATIONS: How to help victims of the Valley Fire where you live

Officials say one person has died -- an elderly disabled woman who was found in her home. She's been identified as 72-year-old Barbara McWilliams of Anderson Springs. She had multiple sclerosis. Her caretaker Jennifer Hittson says when she left McWilliams' house Saturday afternoon, they were not aware of the fast-moving fire. That changed quickly and Hittson called the sheriff's department.

VIDEO: Valley Fire victim ID'd as woman with multiple sclerosis

"I knew she was in the house, I knew she would be stuck, and I knew she would have no way of getting out," she said. "I told the sheriff that and I was told quite bluntly that they were busy handling evacuees and they would get to her when they could."

Deputies say they responded to the call within 17 minutes and were unable to approach her house because of the flames.

PHOTOS: Fire crews battle massive Valley Fire

RESOURCES: Valley Fire evacuation centers, school closure information

The Napa County Fairgrounds has the largest number of evacuees with more than 500 people forced out of their homes, many of them lost their homes.

All classes and activities at schools in Middletown and Cobb are suspended until further notice, including this Friday's homecoming football game.

PHOTOS: ABC7 News at the Valley Fire

As more residents return to their devastated communities today, they will get the chance to see whether their livestock and pets survived the inferno. Evacuation orders are still in place, but authorities know people are anxious to check on property and pets. Some people have been allowed in-- to see this devastation for themselves. Today--they'll be allowed to check on their animals

Pets and livestock were left behind during the frantic evacuation. This has been a huge concern since the fire broke out Saturday. Facebook pages have been set up dedicated to helping evacuees find their animals or find temporary shelters for them. Animal rescue groups and local feed stores have also been pitching in.

Sheriff's deputies will be escorting people in for 15 minute increments today. They'll meet you in the parking lots of the Kelseyville and lower lake high schools. You need to have ID and they'll take people in from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Right now there are already approximately 1,800 firefighters battling the blaze. More help from across the country is on the way.

Click here for full coverage on the Valley Fire.

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