A popular resort and hot spring is among the homes and businesses that was right in the path of the Valley Fire.
Harbin Hot Springs resort was evacuated Saturday afternoon as the rapidly moving fire made its way toward the 5,000-acre property outside Middletown.
Many residents and staff gathered at the Calistoga evacuation center to wait for updates.
The Chronicle reports the resort has been destroyed. "Photos and video have circulated online showing the destruction of the main retreat buildings, and the area is unrecognizable," a post on the resort's website said. "That said, it appears that the historic pools still exist. Beyond that, we cannot confirm specifics or estimate damages until we are allowed to return ourselves."
The statement continues:
"Obviously, Harbin is closed indefinitely, and all future reservations have been canceled. For security and safety reasons, please do not attempt to visit Harbin now. Local authorities will be detaining any trespassers, as this is private property, and is still our home.
"Our retreat center is one of the oldest hot springs of its kind in California, and it has risen from the ashes of fires in the past. Those who have visited Harbin know that it has always been much more than a collection of wooden structures. As a result, there has been an incredible outpouring of support for our community, and generous offers to help us rebuild. Our church and community have been stewards of this land for more than 40 years, and we plan to continue in our service here for years to come.
"This is an emotional time for us, and those who love this place. For now, we ask our friends to visualize one of their favorite “Harbin moments” from a past retreat — a massage, workshop, meal, yoga class, hike, temple meditation or hot spring soak — and take a deep breath. Please know that we are confident that Harbin Hot Springs can move forward with your prayers, support, and encouragement."
As of Monday morning, the Valley Fire had consumed about 61,000 acres, destroyed about 400 homes and businesses and was about 5 percent contained.