Deadly Valley Fire 48 percent contained

The Valley Fire burning in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties is nearly halfway contained, Cal Fire officials said today, and some of residents who were forced to evacuate are now being permitted to go back to their homes.

The fast-moving fire started around 1:25 p.m. last Saturday, and is currently estimated at 74,500 acres. Firefighters say it’s now 48 percent contained.

So far three residents have died as a result of the fire, four firefighters have been injured and an undetermined number of structures have been lost, according to Cal Fire.

At least 585 homes have been destroyed in the fire as well as hundreds of other structures. There are still 7,253 structures that remained threatened by the fire, Cal Fire said.

Lake County residents from Middle Town are being allowed to go home today, according to Cal Fire. Roadblocks along state Highway 29 at Tubbs Lane and Livermore Road were scheduled to start allowing area residents through at 12 p.m. today.

Additional evacuations orders have been lifted for the communities of Aetna Springs, James Creek and the surrounding areas in Napa County, Cal Fire announced this afternoon.

As of Thursday, the mandatory evacuation order for the community of Berryessa Estates had also been lifted to residents only.

There were more than 4,200 firefighters assigned to the Valley Fire as of this morning, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Cal Fire officials have scheduled a community meeting at 3 p.m. today in Lower Lake at the Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake St.