ALAMEDA COUNTY (CBS SF) — Lightning-caused wildfires grew Wednesday to more than 100,000 acres, or nearly 160 square miles as part of the group of fires spread across five counties.
Firefighters battling the SCU Lightning Complex fires (map) Wednesday have been hampered by extreme temperatures, windy conditions and inaccessible terrain, with some areas having had no fire history and an abundance of dry fuel, Cal Fire said. Containment was at five percent as of Wednesday evening. Two firefighters have been injured and their conditions were unknown.
The fires were burning in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties and were threatening 3,800 structures. No structures have burned so far. As of Wednesday, there was 5 percent containment.
However, thousands have been forced to flee their homes, with the newest evacuations ordered in both northern and southern Santa Clara County, including areas in the foothills of East San Jose along the western edge of the fires. Areas of Stanislaus County were also added to the evacuation list.
- EVACUATIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES (updated 10:15 p.m.)
Cal Fire said there were 578 firefighters engaged in fighting the complex of 20 separate blazes that have been broken into three
zones; the Canyon Zone, the Calaveras Zone, and the Deer Zone.
An incident management team was in the process of treating and evacuating civilians that were injured in the Canyon Zone area of the Information about the incident was still developing as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Overnight, crews saw critical rates of spread and medium-range spotting,” Cal Fire said in a Wednesday morning release “Increasing west winds tested containment lines in all zones and had crews actively engaged in structure protection.”
Challenging firefighters was a fifth straight day of excessive heat Wednesday, with extremely low humidity and gusty breezes.
“The fires continue to burn in steep, rugged terrain and are influenced by extreme temperatures, and low relative humidity,” Cal Fire officials said.
Erica Bain, a spokeswoman for Cal Fire, said there was “minimal fire activity” overnight into Wednesday associated with the four blazes that make up the Deer Zone fires, which as of Tuesday had burned almost 1,500 acres on the northeast face of Mount Diablo.
“They’re actually looking pretty good out there, better than other areas,” Bain said.
All East Bay Regional Parks were closed until further notice because of the fires, except some shoreline parks. Fires were burning in a number of regional parks, including Round Valley Regional Preserve, Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, Del Valle Regional Park, Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve, Ohlone Wilderness Regional Preserve, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.
The fires that compose the SCU Lightning Complex are:
- Deer Zone: [Contra Costa County]
Round Fire, Palm Fire, Marsh Fire, and Briones Fire
- Calaveras Zone: [Alameda County / Santa Clara County / Stanislaus County]
Kilkare Fire, Arroyo Fire, Mill Creek Fire, Welch Fire, Ohlone Fire, and Reservoir Fire
- Canyon Zone: [Stanislaus County / San Joaquin County]
Peg Leg Fire, Terraville Fire, Del Puerto Fire, and Peach Fire
- Alameda County
All of Mines Road, south of Mile Marker 10 to the county line
- Alameda County / Stanislaus County:
Frank Raines Park to Mines Road
Del Puerto Canyon Road 1 mile to Mines Road
- Santa Clara County:
North of Hwy 130 to Santa Clara County Line
West of San Antonio Valley Rd.
West of Mines Rd. to Santa Clara County Line
East of 3 Springs Rd. and Mt. Hamilton Rd.
South of Santa Clara County Line
(Unincorporated area of Santa Clara County East of the City of San Jose)
East of Ed Levin County Park, Felter Rd., Sierra Rd., Toyon Ave. and Mt. Hamilton Rd.
to Three Springs Rd.
North of Mt. Hamilton Rd. to Three Springs Rd.
South of Santa Clara County Line
West of the Fire Perimeter
- Stanislaus County
All areas of Diablo Grande Parkway and the Diablo Grande community (Evacuation center at Creekside Middle School, 535 Peregrine Dr., Patterson)
- Alameda County:
City of Fremont – Mill Creek Road
- Stanislaus County:
South of Diablo Grande Parkway and the Diablo Community to the Stanislaus/Merced County Line
West of I-5
North of Stanislaus/Merced County Line
East of Santa Clara County Line
- Santa Clara County: (City of San Jose)
East of San Jose city limits
South of Mt. Hamilton Rd.
North of Metcalf Rd. & San Felipe Rd., east to the county line
East of San Antonio Valley Rd. to Del Puerto Canyon Rd. to the county line
Evacuation Centers: Milpitas Library, 160 N Main St., Milpitas and Creekside Middle School, 535 Peregrine Dr., Patterson
- Marsh Creek Road between Morgan Territory Road and Deer Valley Road
- Del Puerto Canyon Road (SR-130) between Mines Road and Diablo Grande PKWY
- Hwy 130 at Three Springs Rd.
- Hwy 130 at Quinby Rd.