But new fires continue to start in the drought-parched state. Within an hour of the reopening, families were digging through the ashes of their burned homes.
Only the Oakland Hills Fire of 1991, the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Fire, both located in San Diego County, ever destroyed more.
A separate blaze in Lake County, about 170 miles northwest, has destroyed 888 structures, at least 585 of them homes.
Authorities earlier said they will allow residents to go back to Hidden Valley Lake, one of the largest areas ravaged by the so-called Valley Fire since it began a week ago.
Two other deadly fires roaring through Northern California have destroyed more than 1,400 homes and threaten thousands more, state fire officials said.
Firefighters work on a steep hillside of a wildfire Sunday, September 20, 2015, in Carmel Valley, Calif. The blaze burning north of the community of Jamesburg quickly grew after starting Saturday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
Though the cause of the Butte fire has not been officially determined, officials at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. have said it may have been started when a power line came into contact with a tree.
But there is help on the way for victims of the Butte Fire in Mountain Ranch, and in Jackson, where the Central Church of Christ has been taking in food, water and cleaning supplies to provide relief to those in need….
It left 118 square miles burned, compared to another fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills that recently burned 110 square miles and destroyed 545 homes.
Berlant said teams are getting access to affected areas as firefighters make progress but that the count is far from over.
“Our damage assessment team continues to go in and count home by home, structure by structure”.
Three other people have died so far in this summer’s wildfires: a 72-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis who couldn’t get out of her house, a 66-year-old man who didn’t follow evacuation orders, and an elderly person who was found by cadaver dogs.
Both are approximately 70 percent now contained.
To the west, the Valley fire in the counties of Lake, Napa and Sonoma is only 53 percent contained and now threatens over 7,000 homes.
He says more than 30,000 people had to evacuate because of the blazes.
A weekend of heat descended on the wildfires after several favorable days, raising fears that major gains could be undone.
At least, La Plante said, she had a moment to say goodbye before she fled with two dogs and two cats and a few clothes.