SWANTON (CBS SF) — Officials issued an evacuation warning Sunday for areas of Santa Cruz County charred by last fall’s devastating wildfires as a potent winter storm, fueled by moisture from a moderate atmospheric river, advanced toward Northern California.
The weather system was expected to arrive late Tuesday night and last through Thursday.READ MORE: UPDATE: 15 Injured, 20 Rescued After Fire Erupts Inside San Francisco Tenderloin Apartment Building
“The National Weather Service is expecting anywhere from 8-12 inches over the course of the storm for the Santa Cruz Mountains,” Cal Fire officials said in their evacuation warning. “An evacuation warning means these individuals need to be prepared to leave immediately with a go bag and planned evacuation route. ”
The Cal Fire CZU evacuation warning was issued for parts of the San Lorenzo Valley, Ben Lomond, Felton and Davenport.
For residents still weary from last fall’s fires, the threat of heavy winter rains and potential mudslides have been weighting on their minds.READ MORE: UPDATE: Willow Fire Grows Past 2,000 Acres Near Big Sur, Evacuations Ordered
“I’ve been living with a kind of dread since the fire,” Felton resident Steven Ellis told KPIX 5.
Ellis has lived in the Santa Cruz mountains for the last 10 years and had to evacuate during the CZU Lightning complex fires that burned through the area in August.
Battalion Chief Nate Armstrong said for those in the evacuation zones, it’s critical to leave when asked to do so.MORE NEWS: West Nile Virus Found in Mosquitos in Stockton
“By the time the rain starts falling, at that intensity, it’s already too late if you aren’t already gone,” he said. “If you hear a debris flow coming, it’s already too late.”