Fourth Body Found in California’s Valley Fire, as Seven Now Dead in Blazes

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

President Obama Issues Disaster Declaration For Valley Fire Zone.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama declared a major disaster Tuesday in a Northern California wildfire that has destroyed at least 1,200 homes and killed at least three people.MIDDLETOWN, CA – SEPTEMBER 15: Cables are tangled in every direction near a wreckage of a home destroyed by the Valley Fire wildfire on September 15, 2015 in Hidden Valley Lake, California. — Another body has been found in a burned-out home in Northern California, bringing the death toll to six from two of the state’s more destructive wildfires in recent memory, authorities said Wednesday. The declaration issued for the fire that broke out in Lake County 90 miles north of San Francisco releases federal money for recovery and cleanup, including grant money for temporary housing and home repairs.

The devastating wildfire that started Sept. 12 ranks among California’s most destructive and stands at 79 percent contained with 118 square miles scorched. Lake County sheriff’s officials said they discovered the remains in the hard-hit Cobb area and believe they belong to Robert Taylor Fletcher, 66, who was last seen Sept. 16. All have been accounted for except the two men. “We are hopeful these people are located and returned and reunited with their loved ones,” he said.

Several areas remained under evacuation more than a week after the fire’s start as crews continue to clear debris and trees and restore damaged power lines. The presidential disaster declaration allows residents and business owners to apply for grants for repairs and temporary housing as well as apply for low-cost loans for uninsured property.

Mark McCloud, 66, and Owen Goldsmith, 82, died after rejecting orders to evacuate their Calaveras County homes, said Lynnette Round, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Federal officials are still working on the request for the other fire, said Kelly Huston, deputy director for the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

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