SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) – The massive CZU August Lightning Complex Fire continued to rage in the Santa Cruz Mountains Saturday, with more than 67,000 acres burned and 115 structures destroyed.
At a briefing Saturday morning, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said the wildfire burning in southern San Mateo and northern Santa Cruz counties has burned 63,000 acres (98.4 square miles), with five percent containment. Cox said the change in acreage was not due to intense fire growth but due to improved mapping of the area.
Cox said 97 structures have been destroyed, while 24,000 structures remain threatened.
Battalion Chief Mark Brunton noted that reduced wind and an increasing marine layer Friday helped crews get lines constructed. Brunton said growth was slowing in the northern part of the fire, saying “looking better there, still by far not out of the woods.”
In the western part of the fire, Brunton said the fire tried to make a run towards the coastal town of Davenport Friday afternoon but crews were able to keep the fire out of the community.
For the eastern part of the fire, Brunton said the fire advanced towards Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond, but has not made a hard push into those communities. The Felton area was still doing relatively well, but crews had to battle a spot fire that burned five acres on Friday.
RAW VIDEO: Homes Burning In Boulder Creek Area Overnight
In the southern part of the fire, Brunton noted “a really big win for us yesterday” as crews were able to put a fire break between Highway 1 and Highway 9 above the UC Santa Cruz campus.
“It’s not the silver bullet there, but it gives us a really good strong hold, a control point in which to keep the fire from moving southward toward those communities,” Brunton said. The battalion chief said crews are working to put a secondary fire break in the area.
More than 77,000 people continue to remain under evacuation orders in a wide swath of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, from Pescadero and La Honda to the north to the UC Santa Cruz Campus to the south. A complete list of evacuations can be found below.
Officials at Saturday morning’s briefing continued to urge any potential visitors to stay away from the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county coasts.
“Do not come to the coast. Right now, we need to keep these roadways open and the resources for these residents and first responders,” said Rosemary Blankswade of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
While crews are making progress, officials are worried about the weather to come, with dry lightning possible early next week. The National Weather Service has declared a Fire Weather Watch starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, with an additional round of thunderstorms possible late Monday into Tuesday.
SAN MATEO COUNTY EVACUATIONS
- Communities of Loma Mar and Dearborn Park Area (Zone SMC E018)
- Pescadero Creek County Park Area (Zone SMC E024)
- Butano Community Area (Zone SMC E098)
- Butano State Park Area including Barranca Knolls Community (Zone SMC E019)
- Butano Creek Drainage (Zone SMC E055)
- South Skyline Blvd. Area near Highway 9 (SMC E049)
- Russian Ridge Open Space Reserve Area (Zone SMC E027)
- Middleton Tract Area (Zone SMC E044)
- Portola Redwoods State Park and the Portola Heights Community Area (Zone SMC E048)
- Pescadero Beach Area (Zone SMC E075)
- Bean Hollow Area (Zone SMC E042)
- Pescadero Area (Zone SMC E043)
- San Gregorio Area (Zone SMC E022)
- La Honda Area (Zone SMC E028)
- Red Barn Area (Zone SMC E010)
- Russian Bridge Open Space Area (Zone SMC E027)
- Skylonda Area (Zone SMC E012)
- Langley Hill Area ( Zone SMC E010)
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY EVACUATIONS
- Waterman Gap Loop, Upper HWY 236, Boulder Creek Golf Course, Heartwood Hill, Lodge Road, Community of Little Basin, Lower China Grade, Upper China Grade, Community of Kings Hwy, Lower Jamison Creek, Gallion Heights, Fallen Leaf Neighborhood, Foxglove Lane (Zones CRZ10, CRZ13, BOU36, BOU20, BOU30, BOU31, BOU36, BOU37, BOU21)
- Saratoga Toll Road, San Lorenzo Park, Riverside Grove-Community of Teilh Drive, Wildwood Road (BOU38, BOU39, BOU40, BOU41, BOU42, BOU43)
- Everyone on Empire Grade Road, from Felton Empire north, all of Pine Flat Road, all of Ice Cream Grade, Bonny Doon Road, in between Pine Flat Road, Martin Road, and all associated side streets are under an evacuation order. (CRZ1, CRZ2, CRZ3, CRZ4, CRZ5, CRZ10, CRZ11, CRZ12, CRZ13, CRZ14, CRZ15)
- Bonny Doon south of Ice Cream Grade, to include Pine Flat Road South is now under an evacuation order. (CRZ7, CRZ8)
- Areas of Alba Road, Hubbard Gulch and Fanning Grade. (BEN 1)
- All areas of Ben Lomond (Zones BEN 2 – BEN 5)
- The area of Lompico (Zones ZAY 11, ZAY 12)
- All areas adjacent to the Bonny Doon and San Lorenzo Valley should be prepared to evacuate if necessary. (CRZ7, CRZ8)
- Areas West of Highway 9 to Empire Grade
- South from Bear Creek Road to Felton, this includes Ben Lomond
- Paradise Park (Zones: CRZ 63, CRZ 64)
- University of California Santa Cruz, campus only (Zone: SCZ 4)
- The areas of Zayante Canyon (Zones: ZAY 1 – ZAY 17)
- Scotts Valley West of State Route 17 (Zones: SCO 1-5, SCO 7, SCO 14-20, SCO 21 – SCO 25)
San Mateo County
Half Moon Bay High School, 1 Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay (AT CAPACITY)
San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive
Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County Fairground, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz
Seventh Day Adventist Camp Grounds, 1931 Soquel San Jose Rd
Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos CA
Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick Street, Santa Cruz
Simpkins Family Swim Center, 919 17th Ave
Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive
Animal Evacuation Centers:
Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville
Cow Palace, contact the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group for details.