Cal Fire says CZU August Lightning Complex 'looking really good'

Cal Fire crews on Wednesday said the CZU August Lighting Complex "is looking really good," despite finding a 63-year-old woman dead of natural causes in her home and searching for an evacuated resident who is missing and may have sneaked back home. 

That was the assessment of Cal Fire operations sections chief Mark Brunton and other firefighting leaders at an early morning news conference, where they said the blazes in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties had scorched about 81,137 acres and was 21% contained. Those were about the same numbers as the day before.

"We're starting to make some progress," added Cal Fire's Ian Larkin. "It's slow and methodical but it is happening."

'It's stressful': Wildfire evacuees in Santa Cruz County anxiously wait to return home

Crews actually planned to set back fires on Wednesday afternoon as controlled burns to fight the fires defensively. 

In not so good news, 538 structures have been destroyed, and all but 11 of those were in Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Chief Deputy Chris Clark said that his deputies didn't arrest anyone on Tuesday for defying evacuation orders. But he did say they were conducting a welfare check and found a 63-year-old woman dead of likely natural causes in her home.

Interactive map: See where wildfires are burning across the Bay Area

And without giving too many details, Clark said that a resident had evacuated earlier and was staying with a friend, but is now missing and may have sneaked back into his or her home. Deputies are now searching for that person. 

The optimistic news about the firefight was likely a major relief for all those evacuated to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, where dozens of families were staying in tents along with their pets. 

“It’s stressful. We’re staying at an extended stay hotel with six other dogs and cats. We come down here to see Monterey,”  Rick Gomez said of his horse. 

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's dispatch line for welfare checks is 831-471-1121.


No Evacuation Warnings currently in place


Communities of Loma Mar and Dearborn Park Area (Zone SMC E018) (8/18/2020 5:00 pm)

Pescadero Creek County Park Area (Zone SMC E024)) (8/18/2020 4:30 pm)

Butano Community Area (Zone SMC E098) (8/18/2020 5:00 pm)

Butano State Park Area including Barranca Knolls Community (Zone SMC E019) (8/18/2020 4:30 pm)

Butano Creek Drainage (Zone SMC E055) (8/18/2020 4:30 pm) (8/18/2020 4:30 pm)

South Skyline Blvd. Area near Highway 9 (SMC E049) (8/18/2020 11:00 pm)

Russian Ridge Open Space Reserve Area (Zone SMC E027) (8/18/2020 11:00 pm)

Middleton Tract Area (Zone SMC E044) (8/18/2020 11:00 pm)

Portola Redwoods State Park and the Portola Heights Community Area (Zone SMC E048) (8/18/2020 11:00 pm)

Pescadero Beach Area (Zone SMC E073) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Bean Hollow Area (Zone SMC E042) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Pescadero Area (Zone SMC E043) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

San Gregorio Area (Zone SMC E022) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

La Honda Area (Zone SMC E028) 8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Red Barn Area (Zone SMC E010) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Russian Bridge Open Space Area (Zone SMC E027) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Skylonda Area (Zone SMC E012) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Langley Hill Area ( Zone SMC E010) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)

Bean Hollow Area (Zone SMC E042) (8/20/2020 6:00 pm)


No Evacuation Warnings currently in place


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) (8/18/2020 10 pm)

Saratoga Toll Road, San Lorenzo Park, Riverside Grove-Community of Teilh Drive, Wildwood Road (Zones: BOU38, BOU39, BOU40, BOU41, BOU42, BOU43) (8/18/2020 7:30 PM)

Saratoga Toll Road, San Lorenzo Park, Riverside Grove-Community of Teilh Drive, Wildwood Road (BOU38, BOU39, BOU40, BOU41, BOU42, BOU43) (8/18/2020 7:30 PM)

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) (8/19/2020 1:00 am)

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) (8/19/2020 6:00 pm) (8/19/2020 7:00 pm)

All areas of Ben Lomond (Zones BEN 2 – BEN 5) (8/19/2020 7:00 pm) The area of Lompico (Zones ZAY 11, ZAY 12) (8/19/2020 7:00 pm)

All areas adjacent to the Bonny Doon and San Lorenzo Valley should be prepared to evacuate if necessary. (CRZ7, CRZ8) (8/20/2020 1:00 am)

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) (8/20/2020 7:00pm)

University of California Santa Cruz, campus only (Zone: SCZ 4) (8/20/2020 7:00pm)

The areas of Zayante Canyon (Zones: ZAY 1 – ZAY 17) (8/20/2020 1:00 pm)

Scotts Valley West of State Route 17 (Zones: SCO 1-5, SCO 7, SCO 14-20, SCO 21 – SCO 25) (8/20/2020 7:00 pm)

Davenport south (Zones: CRZ 6, CRZ 9, CRZ 17) (8/19/2020 7:00 pm)

All areas of Felton (Zones: FEL 1 – FEL 6) (8/20/2020 8:00 am)

Butano State Park area including Barrranca Knolls Community (Zone: SMC E019) (8/18/2020 4:30 pm)

East of Zayante Canyon west of State Route 17 and south of State Route 35 (Zones: CRZ 18, CRZ 19, CRZ 20) (8/20/2020 7:00 pm)


No Evacuation Warnings currently in place

San Mateo County

Half Moon Bay High School, 1 Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay

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 (AT CAPACITY)

Seventh Day Adventist Camp Grounds, 1931 Soquel San Jose Rd (AT CAPACITY)

Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos CA

Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick Street, Santa Cruz

Simpkins Family Swim Center, 919 17th Ave (ADA only)

Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive


Road closures are fluid and being coordinated with evolving evacuation warnings and orders.

San Mateo County

Pescadero Creek Road between Alpine and Cloverdale Rd.

Cloverdale Road between Pescadero Creek Road and Gazos Creek.

Whitehouse Canyon Road at Highway 1

Portola Heights Road at Skyline

State Route 1 at Rossi Road

State Route 1 at Ano Nuevo

Santa Cruz County

State Route 1 at Shaffer Road to Ano Nuevo

State Route 9 at Lower Glen Arbor to Rincon Trail head

Empire Grade at Heller Drive

Upper Zayante South closed at State Route 35

Hutchinson Road at State Route 35

State Route 35 at Bear Creek Rd to Boulder Creek

Granite Creek at Scotts Valley Drive, this includes southbound offramp closure at Highway 17 at Granite Creek

Westbound Mount Hermon at Glen Canyon Rd to Graham Hill Road

Sims Rd at La Madrona Dr

Graham Hill at Sims Rd

Glenwood Dr at Weston Rd

Mountain Charlie at State Route 35

Glennwood Dr at State Route 17

Glennwood cutoff at State Route 17

Southbound State Route 17 at the Granite Creek offramp

Southbound State Route 17 at the Sims Rd offramp

Animal Evacuation Center:

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville

Large farm animals are being accepted at Cowpalace. For information and assistance contact (650) 450-0520.

Watsonville Animal Shelter, 580 Airport Blvd