National Guard arrives to help firefighters battle CZU Lightning Complex Fire
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (BCN) - The California National Guard arrived in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties to help firefighters suppress the CZU Lightning Complex wildfires starting Monday.
"We have a number of guard crews that have been on year-round and have been trained and divvied out to specific units of Cal Fire to do fuel mitigation work and reduce the fuels," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mark Brunton said during a Monday morning update on Twitter.
It has been two weeks since lightning set ablaze the CZU Lightning Complex fires, which are 39 percent contained with 84,860 acres burned, 861 residences destroyed and 86 others damaged.
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Non-residential buildings have not seen the same rates of carnage but 139 were destroyed and 13 damaged. Still, 6,759 structures are threatened, according to Cal Fire.
BOULDER CREEK, CA - AUGUST 21: A firefighter from Vista Fire Department, Matt Eyerman, puts out a spot fire on Acorn Dr. in Boulder Creek, Calif., on Aug. 21, 2020, as the CZU August Lightning Complex fire continues to burn in Santa Cruz Mountains. (
No firefighters have been injured but the blaze has resulted in one civilian death and one civilian injury.
Containment has increased in the southern part of the fire near Davenport area where residents have begun to repopulate, Brunton said.
Most fire activity is in the northern part of the complex near Butano State Park.
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Throughout the week, there will be very dry and warm temperatures inland that will complicate suppression. Crews are unsure of when full containment will be reached.
There are 10 evacuation centers, eight of will are still open, in Santa Cruz County:
-Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz
-Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos CA
-Simpkins Family Swim Center, 919 17th Ave.
-Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive
-Congregational Church Shelter, 4951 Soquel Drive, Soquel
-Harbor High School, 300 La Fonda Ave., Santa Cruz
-Rodeway Inn, 1620 W. Beach St., Watsonville
-Coastlands Church, 280 State Park Drive, Aptos
-Santa Cruz County Fairground, 2601 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville (AT CAPACITY)
-Seventh Day Adventist Camp Grounds, 1931 Soquel San Jose Road (AT CAPACITY)
San Mateo County has one evacuation center located at Half Moon Bay High School on 1 Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay.
A resource assistance center is also open on 140 Front St. in Santa Cruz.
Residents can contact the Santa Cruz County Hotel Hotline at (831) 454-2181 and sign up for email updates at https://tinyurl.com/CZUlightning.