CZU Lightning Complex Fire: Evacuation orders for most of San Mateo County lifted

Most evacuation orders for San Mateo County were lifted on Thursday for residents impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. 

Effective at noon, people who reside along southern San Mateo County may return to their homes, county officials announced Thursday. 

While that is welcome news, Half Moon Bay says that does not mean people can flock to its beaches. The town is asking people not to head to the coast just yet. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Cal Fire said crews continue to gain ground on the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties and that they were working to repopulate some evacuated areas. 

Cal Fire operations sections chief Mark Brunton said that utility crews were in Davenport on Wednesday, working to turn the power back on for the residents there. 

Brunton said they've been making "great progress," especially in the north and he emphasized that the UC Santa Cruz campus was out of the woods and that students could return there. 

Last week, Cal Fire said "it could be weeks," before residents could return home. While the majority of San Mateo County can repopulate, it's unclear when a timeline for Santa Cruz County will be established. 

Santa Cruz County Deputy Chief Chris Clark said residents should check the agency's incident map to see when their zone has been cleared safe for return.

Fire officials said there are several hazards in the CZU Lightning Complex burn area and are asking residents to avoid the area. Cal Fire said trees have fallen onto homes, cars, and roads. Intense heat from the wildfire melted a section of asphalt. 

Residents should not use their discretion to decide when to return home, that is up to safety inspectors and fire officials. 

As of Thursday, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire had burned 81,479 acres and was 24% contained. A total of 23,000 structures remained threatened and 590 structures have already been destroyed; all but 11 of those were in Santa Cruz County. 

In addition, two men, Shane Smith, 21, and Micah Szoke, 37, who both lived in evacuation zones in Santa Cruz County were missing, while a third man had been found. 

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


No Evacuation Warnings currently in place


Pescadero Beach area (ZONE: SMC- E073)

Pescadero Creek County Park area (ZONE: SMC – E075)

Pescadero area (ZONE: SMC – E043)

San Gregorio area (ZONE: SMC – E022)

La Honda area (ZONE: SMC – E028)

Langley Hill and Red Barn area (ZONE: SMC – E010)

Russian Ridge Open Space area (ZONE: SMC – E027)

Skylonda (ZONE: SMC- E012)

Portola Redwoods State Park, Portola Heights (SMC E-048)

Middleton Tract (ZONE: SMC- E044)


Highway 1 at Gazos Creek Road

Cloverdale Road at Butano Cutoff

Pescadero Creek Road at Butano Cutoff

Pescadero Creek Road at Burns Valley Road  


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

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


No Evacuation Warnings currently in place


Scotts Valley west of State Route17, including unincorporated areas of Scotts Valley

Paradise Park 

Cave Gulch area 

University of California Santa Cruz, campus only


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

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


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

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