The so-called Valley fire that started in Lake County roared down on the rural town of Middletown on Saturday night, burning so many homes that even late Sunday fire officials could only guess at how many were destroyed. Middletown is a nice little place halfway between the Clear Lake area and the Napa Valley wine country town of Calistoga. Among the familiar spots destroyed was Harbin Hot Springs, a Northern California landmark of New Age and hippie culture for decades.
The scary video above from Saturday night shows a driver trying to escape the Anderson Springs area, absolutely surrounded by wildfire and burning homes.
Structure damage on the #ValleyFire still remains at an estimated several hundred homes & hundreds of other structures destroyed.— CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) September 14, 2015
One of my favorite places on Earth, Harbin Hot Springs, is gone. I am devastated and heart broken💔. #rebuildharbin #harbinhotsprings— Sasha Markova (@Lady1337) September 14, 2015
What a sad loss. Oh, the memories there...Mmmm. She will rise again! She did it before and she will do it again! #harbinhotsprings— musicmademe (@KathrynKeats) September 13, 2015
Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency on Sunday for the areas hit by the Valley fire. It has burned more than 50,000 acres and the nearby Butte fire has burned more than 65,000 acres.