SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Cal Fire crews responded to a massive fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Santa Clara County on Monday.
Located in the area of Loma Prieta and Loma Chiquita roads north of the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, the so-called Loma Fire, was only 5 percent contained as of 9 p.m. Monday, Cal Fire officials said.
The fire started at about 2:45 p.m. from a structure fire and spread to vegetation.
The San Jose Fire Department is sending multiple units to help Cal Fire battle the blaze. The fire was sending up a massive plume of smoke that was visible across the South Bay.
According to Cal Fire Morgan Hill, the fire quickly grew to 150 acres as of 3:55 p.m. with a dangerous rate of spread. It is in a wooded area with steep, rugged terrain.
Cal Fire said Monday night the fire had grown to 1,000 acres and that one structure had been destroyed.
Cal Fire officials said roughly 200 firefighters responded to the scene to battle the blaze and that ten air support tankers and choppers were dropping water and fire retardant on the flames Monday afternoon.
Initially, structures were threatened on Loma Chiquita and Loma Prieta including several homes and a number of cellular and communications transmission towers, but as the fire spread, upwards of 300 homes were threatened.
The fire also appeared to be within the vicinity of buildings for radio stations KBAY-FM and KKUP-FM.
In Santa Clara County, deputies are helping evacuate people on Loma Prieta Road, Casa Loma Road, Summit Road, Uvas Road and Loma Chiquita Road, sheriff’s officials said.
In Santa Cruz County, people have also been instructed to leave the area of Mount Bache Road, Loma Prieta Road and Highland Way, sheriff’s officials said.
Closures are also in effect at Mount Bache and Loma Prieta roads; Mount Bache and Highland Way and Mount Madonna and Pole Line roads, sheriff’s officials said.
Evacuation centers have been opened at Soquel High School and Loma Prieta High School.
Highway 17 has not been affected by the fire so far.
The Bay Area sizzled under temperatures that reached triple digits in much of the region Monday, with a heat advisory in effect until Monday evening.
For the second day in row, record-breaking temperatures hit several areas of California, with many communities seeing temperatures 10 to 25 degrees above normal for this time of the year.