SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (CBS SF) — The evacuation orders that had been issued for the wind-whipped Freedom and Panther fires burning in Santa Cruz County were lifted Wednesday, Cal Fire confirmed.
The fires were just two of a number of brush fires that burned Tuesday in a region that saw some 1,500 structures destroyed during the CZU Lightning Complex fires last summer.READ MORE: COVID: Healdsburg Family Leaving California On Cross-Country Trip In Search Of New Home
Cal Fire said the wind event on Monday that lasted into Tuesday sparked more than 18 vegetation fires within an 18 hour time period. About 120 homes were evacuated due to the Freedom Fire and the Panther Fire.
Cal Fire officials said that conditions improved after night fell Tuesday and firefighters were able to grow containment lines.
Evacuation orders were lifted for Zone APT-E010A which includes Nunes Road, Gilette Road, Bens Way and Halton Lane as well as Zone CRZ-E014A, which includes the Panther Ridge Road and Stapp Road Areas.
Fire officials anticipate that most — if not all — of the vegetation fires will be contained by Wednesday evening, less than 48 hours after the major wind event.
In all, more than 100 acres burned across the Santa Cruz Mountains. No homes were lost and there were no reported injuries to either residents or first responders, according to Cal Fire.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine: Santa Clara County Debuts Vaccination Site For Teachers, Education Workers At Fairgrounds
The Cal Fire CZU Twitter account posted about the lifting of the evacuation orders early Wednesday afternoon.
— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) January 20, 2021
Cal Fire CZU Unit Chief Ian Larkin noted in the press release issued that dry conditions meant wildfire remain a concern in the region.MORE NEWS: Fremont Police Release Additional Details In Pursuit, Exchange Of Gunfire With Teens Suspected In Home Invasion
“With the lack of rainfall in the winter months, our fuels are remaining receptive to fire year-round and people need to be vigilant,” said Larkin.