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President Obama Calls Gov. Brown, Pledges Support To Valley Fire Victims

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) -- President Barack Obama spoke with Gov. Jerry Brown today for an update on the Valley Fire that has ravaged 70,200 acres in Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties this week, White House officials said.

The president expressed his concern for impacted California residents and his gratitude for the firefighters and others responding to the massive blaze.

The federal government will continue its support for Valley Fire victims, Obama told Brown.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already committed a grant for mitigation, management and control of the fire, which will cover 75 percent of the costs for fire suppression, safety and recovery needs, federal officials said Monday.

The fire has devastated communities, burning at least 585 homes and hundreds of other structures. As of Wednesday evening it was estimated to be 35 percent contained at 70,200 acres.

Cooler temperatures and rain have given firefighters an assist. Cal Fire has brought in reinforcements. Over 3,100 firefighters were fighting the blaze.

The Valley Fire has been burning since about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, when it started off High Valley Road near Bottle Rock Road in Cobb. It spread rapidly and is already considered the ninth most damaging wildfire in California history.

The fire claimed the life of a 72-year-old Lake County woman in her Anderson Springs home in Cobb. Several other Lake County residents have been reported missing. Cadaver dogs were used to search through burned out neighborhoods in Middletown and Cobb on Wednesday.

Four firefighters were injured in the fire Saturday and were in stable condition at a Sacramento hospital.

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Cal Fire officials said Wednesday that 14,000 firefighters are battling 10 large fires across California, including 3,100 at the Valley Fire. This year's fire season has been one of the worst ever for the number of wildfires, their size and the destruction they've caused. The Valley Fire is the ninth most damaging fire ever in California history.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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