GILROY (CBS SF) — Fire crews battling the Crews Fire in the hills east of Gilroy in rural Santa Clara County made progress Tuesday, raising containment on the fire to 50 percent.
According to Cal Fire officials, as of shortly before 7 p.m., the Crew Fire’s size had held steady at approximately 5,400 acres, while containment had been raised from 20 percent Tuesday morning to 50 percent by 7 p.m Tuesday night.
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, crews spent the day keeping an eye on the weather forecast and the possibility of winds fueling another flareup.
The fire had initially been reported at 1:52 p.m. Sunday near Crews Road and Sunlit Oaks Court, prompting evacuations from state Highway 152 north to Gilroy Hot Springs and southeast to Prunedale Avenue, fire officials said.
Hundreds of firefighters took advantage of the calm winds on Monday and slowed the fire’s advance toward Highway 152 and Henry Coe State Park after gusty winds whipped up the fire on Sunday.
An update from Cal Fire Tuesday morning said firefighters worked through Monday evening strengthening control lines and mopping up.
“What’s taking so long is that we have miles and miles of fire lines. Some of it is very difficult to access. The terrain is challenging,” said Cal Fire Public Information Officer Luisa Rapport. “A lot of that has to be reached by helicopter or other aircraft. And then we have to work to get our hand crews, bulldozers and other equipment in there slowly.”
The update said gusty winds Tuesday afternoon would create the potential for flare-ups, but the National Weather Service forecast evening winds from the west/southwest winds of only 5 to 7 mph.
“In the afternoon, things are going to dry out and get windy, and we have to be prepared for that,” said Rapport.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Gilroy Senior Center at 7371 Hanna St.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire. One structure has been destroyed and another damaged by the blaze, and an additional 30 structures remain threatened, Cal Fire officials said.
Cañada Road remained closed from Highway 152 to Gilroy Hot Springs.
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