REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Evacuation orders were lifted for a fast-moving wildfire in San Mateo County on Tuesday afternoon. Cal Fire officials say the orders associated with the seven-alarm fire were downgraded to warnings as of 8:09 p.m.
According to the Cal Fire CZU unit, the blaze erupted in the area of Edgewood Road and Crestview Drive. Firefighters initially responded to the fire around 2:24 p.m. after receiving numerous 911 calls.
Deputy Cal Fire Chief Jonathan Cox said it turned out to be at least two blazes burring in the area — one called the Edgewood Fire and the other dubbed the Colton Fire.
Fire crews from multiple agencies fought both blazes under scorching hot temperatures.
The Colton Fire was contained around 3:55 p.m., while the Edgewood Fire is actively burning, but holding at around 20 acres with 5% containment.
"There's active structure defense going on in that area to actually protect structures. There are also active aircraft flying, multiple large air tankers as well as helicopters," Cox said. "Additional air resources have been ordered throughout the area to try to put a significant about of retardant on the ground to slow the progress of this fire."
San Mateo County saw temperatures in the 90s, but as fire officials said thankfully winds didn't pose as a challenge.
"We do anticipate this heat to hold through the night, which will require us to stay out here until we get some containment," Cox said.
The deputy chief said a firefighter was injured while on the line of the Edgewood Fire. The firefighter was transported to Stanford Medical Center for treatment. In a late night update, Cal Fire CZU said four firefighters in total suffered minor injuries.
California Highway Patrol reported that smoke was visible from Interstate Highway 280.
Earlier, evacuations were ordered for the areas of Emerald Hills and Handley Rock Park. An evacuation warning was issued for Woodside, east of Canada Road to Emerald Hills, including Canada College and Canada Apartments.
"At first it was a recommended evacuation and then the sheriff’s office came through and said that it was a mandatory evacuation. That’s when we started moving the horses out. So, we got water for them because we don’t know where we’re going," said area resident Bill Mann.
Former KTVU reporter Lloyd LaCuesta, who lives in the area, said the winds seemed to be cooperating with firefighters and that the smoke he saw was white, which indicates firefighters were getting water on the flames.
"It's very hilly, sort of like the Oakland Hills, a lot of trees and it's very, very dry," LaCuesta said, describing the area. He said his area was not facing a mandatory evacuation.
For those who are being evacuated, those people are being asked to go to a temporary center being set up at 1455 Madison Ave. in Redwood City.
"I was in the car waiting for my mom and she had to grab the cats. The fire department came to the door and asked us to leave," said Mason Bib, an area resident.
Evacuees were directed to the local Veterans Center where the Red Cross was on-hand to assist people.
LaCuesta said he briefly lost power at his home.
"That's another reason for concern. We realize that we could lose our power here. And the roads, up in the hills here are very narrow/congested, and to get a big truck up here can be difficult," he said.
Stanford University also reported impacts as a result of the fire, with a power outage affecting many parts of the campus due to a downed Pacific Gas & Electric transmission line, school officials said on Twitter.
PG&E said they became aware of an outage affecting customers at around 2:30 p.m. In an update late Tuesday night, utility officials said crews were working to restore power to approximately 9,100 customers.
"We are actively looking to connect impacted customers to other sections of our electric system to restore power as quickly as possible. The cause of the outage is under investigation," a PG&E statement read.
Meanwhile, Stanford was still in the dark with no estimated time for power restoration. Employees on the main campus were encouraged to work from home on Wednesday. In addition, summer session classes, conferences, and day camps are canceled for Wednesday, June 22.
The fire is affecting a portion of Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve.
"I was headed out on a ride and heard a bunch of explosions. Then a few minutes later there was smoke. I thought it’s probably not a good time to go away from home, so I turned around and I’ve been hanging around ever since," said David Tu, an area resident.
Aside from the firefighters, there have been no other reports of injuries or structural damage. Fire officials said they’ll continue working to contain the Edgewood Fire throughout the night and into Wednesday.
Investigators have not yet determined cause for the wildfire.
The Sheriff's Office has ordered evacuations for residents in Zonehaven zones RWC-E002, and RWC-E003-B and WSD-E099-A, and is advising but not ordering evacuations for RWC-E003-A and WSD-E099-B. People can search for their evacuation zone at: https://community.zonehaven.com/.
No further information was immediately available.
Bay City News contributed to this report.
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