Valley Fire

How the Valley fire exploded into one of the worst in California history

How the Valley fire exploded into one of the worst in California history

Joni Prather was tending store at the Yogi Bear campground outside this tiny mountain town when she saw the puff of smoke.

"Grass fire," she thought.

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FOR THE RECORD: In the Sept. 20 California section, an article about the evolution of Northern California's Valley fire included a statement by a Middletown resident who said he watched a patrolling law enforcement officer drive by and shoot his dog. The resident now says that he did not witness the shooting. The dog is recovering at UC Davis veterinary school.

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The smoke was rising about a half mile upwind, created by a small fire that had somehow ignited —...

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