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For Middletown resident, a long road to recovery from devastating Valley Fire




Only a frame and few items still stand at home destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes.
Only a frame and few items still stand at home destroyed by fire Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa Counties after a wildfire charred more than 60 square miles within 12 hours, prompting thousands to flee their homes.
Eric Risberg/AP

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The Valley Fire burned more than 70,000 acres and ripped through multiple towns in Lake County, California, in September.

It passed right through Middletown, where resident Kelli Chase fled ahead of quickly advancing flames.

"Half of the homes in Middletown are gone," said Chase, who had 30 minutes to evacuate from her home along with her husband and pets. "It's so tragic to look at people that you know and realize they have lost everything."

The fire is now contained, but local residents like Chase are only beginning to try and put their lives back together.

"Things are sort of, gradually getting back to normal," she said, noting that most of the businesses in town are re-opening, even as clean-up continues.

Check out the latest at KPCC's Fire Tracker