(MIDDLETOWN, Calif.) — Northern California’s Napa and Lake Counties are cooling off after fires spread throughout the area over the weekend.
Cool weather on Monday put an end to the raging flames of the Valley Fire in Northern California that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in the area.
Middletown was evacuated over the weekend as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze. Now, it’s a charred ghost town, with businesses closed and many homes still smoking.
Paulette McKnight, a Middletown resident, came back to the area around a road block, and has been reporting back to friends about the status of their homes.
“So we have been trying to reach out to those people who have been calling us to let them know yes or no their house is still there,” she told ABC News.
Another homeowner showed up to survey his own home’s damage and saw nothing but ashes and rubble.
Tom Garrett found out on Facebook his Middletown home was destroyed.
“On Facebook there’s a picture of a wrought iron archway with a little wooden sign…ironically that says ‘This Is Where I Belong,'” he said. “And the ashes of the home behind it is where the house used to stand. So that was our confirmation that the house is gone.”
California Governor Jerry Brown said the fires this season in the state have been a lot worse than anyone expected, and blamed climate change.
“The southwest of America is one of the places that will experience more and more warming and dry conditions,” said the governor Monday. “And then when you add to that droughts that are fairly regular you get exactly what we’re seeing.”
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