MIDDLETOWN, Lake County (CBS SF) — Lake County sheriff’s deputies found human remains in the Valley Fire area Tuesday evening that are presumed to be those of a missing Cobb man, 66-year-old Robert Taylor Fletcher, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.
Sheriff’s detectives and fire personnel found the remains around 6:30 p.m., Lt. Steve Brooks said.
Fletcher was reported missing on Sept. 16 and a positive identification has not been made, Brooks said Wednesday morning.
Fletcher’s family last heard from him on Sept. 10. His Cobb residence in Lake County burned in the 76,067-acre Valley Fire affecting Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties.
It is the fourth death reported since the fire began Sept. 12. The fire was 80 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.
Another Lake County resident, Robert Edward Litchman, 61, of Lower Lake, was reported missing by a friend last Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.
The friend said Litchman did not have transportation and did not leave his home when told to by law enforcement, Brooks said.
Litchman was seen in his driveway waving vehicles by during the evacuation, Brooks said. Sheriff’s detectives went to Litchfield’s residence and found it had burned during the fire, Brooks said.
No human remains were found by detection dogs during a search of Litchman’s property, according to Brooks.
The Valley Fire also has injured four firefighters and destroyed 1,910 structures, placing it as the state’s third-most destructive wildfire in terms of structures damaged, according to Cal Fire.
Firefighters were continuing to improve and hold existing fire lines, mop up hot spots and rehabilitate the natural landscape Wednesday, Cal Fire officials said.
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