SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (Ann Rubin/KTVU) - Seven firefighters have now been injured battling the Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Fire officials say tricky conditions are to blame: out here the terrain is steep, the soil is loose, and trees can come down at a moment's notice. As of Thursday morning, the fire had spread to 320 acres and was 30percent contained.
As Oregon Department of Forestry firefighter Steve Chapman points out, "You got to watch out for the trees because they're hazardous."
The Bear Fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains has already hurt seven firefighters, one of them seriously.
That person suffered injuries to his face and wrist after apparently falling into a ravine.
On Wednesday alone, two firefighters suffered burns.
Calfire PIO Angela Bernheisel says, "So they're cutting lines and putting in hose lays, that's really hard work on these steep slopes. And with that comes the risk of slipping and falling."
Adding to the challenge, many of the crews here are exhausted, having just come from other fires.
This U.S. Forest Service Hotshot Team spent the last week battling the Redwood Complex Fire near Ukiah.
"It's just devastating to see all the homes that are burned up. Coming down here we didn't know what to expect," says firefighter Jon Orr.
Many of the crews have driven through the night to get here. Most haven't seen their families, or a bed, for days.
And so they say the focus is on doing the job at hand, carefully, knowing that there are 150 homes potentially in this fire's path.
Chapman says, "For us today is mop up, make sure that we get this line secure and held for the next 24 hours."