The Valley Fire burned 76,000 acres or 118 square miles with 50,000 acres and most of the structure loss occurring during the first 24 hours. The fire destroyed 1280 homes and 66 commercial properties with Middletown suffering the greatest loss. Four civilian fatalities and four firefighter serious injuries occurred during the early stages of the fire.
This 38 minute presentation was shot during seven hours spent in Middletown as the fire ravaged through the community. High winds accompanied by high temperatures and low humidities along with drought stressed fuel created the explosive dangerous rate of spread that outpaced firefighters and resulted in tragic losses.