SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - San Mateo County authorities sent out an alert late Thursday night, that sections of several major roads were shut down, because of the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires.
(State Route 1 from Tunitas Creek Road to Shaffer Road in Santa Cruz County State Route 35 from State Route 84 to State Route 9, and State Route 84 from State Route 35 to State Route 1)
Authorities said that CHP officers are staffing these closures, and due to mandatory evacuation orders, no traffic will be allowed through these closures.
In the Santa Cruz Mountains, 48,000 people have been told to leave their homes including the City of Scotts Valley. The CZU August Lightning Fire has consumed more than 48,000 acres. So far, 50 structures have been destroyed and that number is likely to go up.
Fire crews are watching the fire’s behavior closely. The concern is that with up to 20-mile per hour winds and low humidity, in the overnight hours, the fire will explode significantly.
On Thursday night, homes were seen engulfed in flames on Acorn Drive in Boulder Creek. Other homes and cars were charred and destroyed along Fern Rock Way and Fallen Leaf Drive. It’s the latest area affected by the CZU wildfire.
“It’s really sad to see what's happening,” said Dorn Claussen of Scotts Valley. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You are just a victim here.”
Claussen was watering down his house. Residents there were told to get out of town. Earlier in the day, sheriff deputies went door to door evacuating people in Felton and Zayante.
“It looks like I’m the last person here but I’m out,” said Dave Faulkner of Zayante. “I was going to wait until the fire jumped Highway 9 but evacuation orders are in.”
The campus of U.C. Santa Cruz self-evacuated.
All of those areas and others are in the path of the fire that has now grown to 48,000 acres in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, threatening more than 20,000 structures.
“Today we've seen a growth of approximately 700 to 1000 acres an hour in heavy timber,” said Cal Fire Assistant Chief Bill See. “That’s a dangerous rate of spread.”
On Thursday night, the fire moved toward Highway 9 north of Ben Lomond in Santa Cruz County, after cresting above the communities of Felton, Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek. Pescadero and Loma Mar in San Mateo County are also threatened.
On Thursday, firefighters were met with favorable weather conditions and an increase of nearly 1,000 personnel dedicated to the fire.
“It’s still not enough we are still drastically short for a fire this size,” said Assistant Chief See.
“It’s a tough time, it's been a hell of year with everything stacked on top of each other,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
At Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, an evacuation center, Governor Newsom made an unannounced visit Thursday night. The governor said more resources are being deployed to fight the fires throughout the state.
“Forget politics right now, red state blue state,” said Gov. Newsom. “We are just part of the United States.
Mutual aid from Oregon, Washington and Texas. Montana is coming in tomorrow.”
The governor mentioned he's also reached out for mutual aid from Australia.
Cal Fire is hoping for a change in weather. It appears crews will still deal with the wind but are looking at increased humidity that will hopefully change the fire’s behavior and help firefighters make progress Friday.
EVACUATION ORDERS FOR SAN MATEO COUNTY:
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)
EVACUATION WARNINGS FOR SAN MATEO COUNTY:
Pescadero Beach Area (Zone SMC E075)
Pescadero Creek County Park 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)
EVACUATION ORDERS FOR SANTA CRUZ COUNTY:
Paradise Park (Zones: CRZ 63, CRZ 64)
University of Santa Cruz, campus only (Zone SCZ 4)
All Scotts Valley residents west of State Route 17, including downtown Scotts Valley (Zones SCO 1-5, SCO 7, SCO 14-20, SCO 21, SCO 25)
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)
The area of east Zayante Canyon, west of State Route 17, south of State Route 35. (CRZ 18 CRZ 19 CRZ 20)
EVACUATION WARNINGS FOR SANTA CRUZ COUNTY:
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
San Mateo County
Half Moon Bay High School, 1 Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay
Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County Fairground, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Seventh Day Adventist Camp Ground 1931 Soquel San Jose Rd.
San Mateo County
Pescadero Creek Road between Alpine and Cloverdale Rd.
Cloverdale Road between Pescadero Creek Road and Gazos Creek.
Alpine Road between Pescadero Creek Road and Skyline
Whitehouse Canyon Road at Highway 1
Portola Heights Road at Skyline
Santa Cruz County
Highway 236 between Highway 9 and Jameison Creek
Highway 9 between Skyline and Western Avenue