Gov. Jerry Brown, after being briefed on a fire season that went from bad to worse over the course of a weekend, warned Californians to brace themselves for what's in store.
"This is damn serious stuff," said Brown at a Monday morning briefing with fire and state emergency officials outside Sacramento. "Firefighters have to be careful, but so do people who live out in their cabins or in their homes."
The governor's meeting with top officials comes as his administration's budget team pegged the cost of California's wildfire season at $212.6 million through early last week, a number undoubtedly too low after a devastating weekend that saw the destruction of two Lake County communities, Middletown and Cobb.
Fire and emergency officials said while there is only one confirmed fatality in the Valley Fire -- the most recent of a dozen state blazes -- there are others in the area that remain unaccounted for and possibly missing.