The Chronicle’s Fire Updates page documents the latest events in wildfires across the Bay Area and the state of California.
The Chronicle’s Fire Map and Tracker provides updates on fires burning throughout California, including these huge lightning-sparked blazes aflame around the Bay Area:
• SCU Complex fires that began Aug. 16 and affect steep terrain of Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties: 367,371 acres and 30% contained.
• CZU Complex fires that began Aug. 17, affecting the Santa Cruz mountains and Santa Cruz and San Mateo County coastal areas: 81,137 acres and 21% contained.
• LNU Complex fires that began Aug. 17, affecting the Healdsburg and Russian River areas; Lake, Yolo and Solano counties; and Napa and Sonoma wine country: 360,868 acres and 33% contained.
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Latest Updates from today:
7:45 p.m. LNU Complex burns 360,868 acres: Cal Fire said the LNU, which is burning in Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo and Lake counties, has burned 360,868 acres and was 33% contained as of Wednesday evening. The fires have destroyed 1,080 structures, damaged 272 structures, and are threatening another 30,500 structures. Cal Fire said 2,292 personnel are battling the blazes along with 292 engines, 68 water tenders, 13 helicopters and 68 dozers. Officials said extreme fire behavior with “short and long range spotting” continues to challenge firefighters. The Hennessey and Walbridge fires, which are part of the complex, are making “runs in several directions, impacting surrounding communities,” Cal Fire said in an incident update on Wednesday evening. Five civilians have died in connection to the complex, and four civilians have been injured, Cal Fire said.
7:30 p.m. One man cited for returning to CZU Complex evacuation area, getting lost, requiring rescue: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chris Clark said that one man in his 70s was cited today for trying to return to his evacuated home and getting lost while navigating a trail in the outskirts of the evacuated zone. “He got into an area that was very steep,” Clark said. “Luckily for him, he literally survived two nights in the woods.”
7:15 p.m. CZU Complex burns 81,137 acres: Cal Fire said the CZU, which is burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, burned 81,137 acres and was 21% contained as of Wednesday evening. The fires have destroyed 408 residences, damaged 39 residences, and are threatening another 24,323 structures. Cal Fire said an infrastructure crew is working to open roads, clear hazardous trees and restore utilities. Damage inspection teams have inspected 55% of the burned area, according to Cal Fire. Officials said 1,982 personnel are currently responding to the fires along with 198 engines, 32 water tenders, 12 helicopters, and 23 dozers.
7:10 p.m. SCU Complex burns 367,371 acres: The SCU Lightning Complex — which is burning in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced and San Benito counties — has burned 367,371 acres and was 30% contained as of Wednesday evening, according to a Cal Fire incident update. The fires have destroyed 20 structures, damaged six structures, and are threatening another 20,065 structures.
6:24 pm Uber and Lyft offer free rides in fire areas: Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides in areas affected by wildfires. Uber riders in the affected cities can use the code CAFIRE2020 for rides anywhere. Lyft riders can use CAFIRERELIEF20 for rides to designated evacuation centers. Each service offers two free rides per person.
6 p.m. When is it OK to go outside if it’s smoky in the Bay Area? Wildfire smoke across the Bay Area has made outdoor activities difficult and even dangerous at times. Air quality and health experts offer advice to help assess when adults and children can safely go outside, and what level of activities they can engage in.
6 p.m. Evacuation orders for CZU Complex lifted for UC Santa Cruz: Cal Fire officials announced Wednesday evening that evacuation orders related to the CZU Lightning Complex have been lifted for UC Santa Cruz. Cal Fire said that the university will “resume operations through a phased opening as determined by the chancellor and the chief of police.” Officials warned residents to be cautious of emergency vehicles and crews are still operating in the area.
5:38 p.m. Quinlan Temporary Evacuation Point in Santa Clara County to close tonight: Santa Clara County officials said Wednesday that the Quinlan Temporary Evacuation Point will be closed at 10 p.m. tonight. Evacuees impacted by the SCU and CZU Lightning complexes can instead seek assistance at two other temporary evacuation points at Milpitas Library (located at 160 N. Main Street in Milpitas) and Ann Sobrato High School (located at 401 Burnett Avenue in Morgan Hill), county officials said.
5:20 p.m. State Insurance Commissioner directs companies to expedite claims filed by wildfire victims: “Wildfire survivors need immediate help as they start on the long road to recovery,” California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said as he issued an emergency notice Wednesday, requesting that all property and casualty insurance companies operating within the state speed up claims related to these out-of-control blazes. He also asked companies to ease deadlines and documentation requirements for fire victims, allowing them to rebuild and restore their lives more quickly.
5:20 p.m. Residents in eight Northern California counties can apply for federal aid: Residents impacted by the fires blazing in Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties can now apply for federal assistance. To apply for individual assistance from FEMA, go to www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621- 3362. See Kathleen Pender’s Net Worth column for details.
5:10 p.m. Governor signs executive order to extend deadline for 2022 elections: Given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires raging across the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to extend the deadline for county officials to count and certify signatures for initiatives seeking to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. Such flexibility will allow counties to focus on this year’s general election, much of which will be conducted by mail.
4:45 p.m. Vacaville man identified as a victim of LNU Complex: Vacaville resident Douglas Mai , 82, was identified by the Solano County Sheriff’s Office as one of the county’s victims who died in the LNU Lightning Complex fires blazing in the county, according to sheriff’s spokesman Le’Ron Cummings. The man’s remains were found in his Vacaville home, Cummings said.
3:30 p.m. Evacuation order reduced to evacuation warning in portions of Napa County for LNU Complex: Cal Fire reduced an evacuation order to an evacuation warning for the area between Rosedale Road and south to Deer Park Road. Evacuation orders remain in place for Crystal Springs Road, Glass Mountain Road and Deer Park Road. All other evacuation orders remain in place, Cal Fire said.
3:15 p.m.: Cal Fire officials said they’ve made good progress on the SCU Fire, which covers seven counties. Officials said while they are seeing more containment, there’s still a “long road ahead of us.” They also mentioned how fatigued firefighters are after more than a week of battling the blazes. About 1,600 firefighters are fighting the conflagration. Cal Fire Unit Chief Jake Hess said that his agency is coordinating with many others on decisions about when residents can return. “We are not going to keep those warnings out there any longer than we have to,” Hess said.
2:30 p.m. NASA satellites show wildfire smoke spreading far beyond California borders: Recent satellite images released by NASA vividly show the impact of California’s huge lightning-sparked wildfires not just across the state but across the country. The space agency’s Terra satellite on Monday captured a view that showed a pall of wildfire smoke covering most of California. NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite provided another sobering image showing heavy levels of aerosols from California wildfire smoke extending all the way to Minnesota and Nebraska. See the images and read more.
1:14 p.m. Twelve condors missing after sanctuary destroyed: The Ventana Wildlife Society, which helped bring the California condor back from the brink of extinction four decades ago, was destroyed by wildfires. The fate of a dozen condors is currently unknown, sanctuary officials said. “Condor Camera” footage shows what could be one chick’s last moments.
11:25 a.m. Middletown area the ‘top priority’ for LNU Complex fire: Cal Fire officials overseeing the LNU Complex blazes covering areas of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Solano counties said the “top priority” for firefighters Wednesday would be an area just south of Middletown, where the Walbridge fire continues to burn. That region, on the northwest part of the fire cluster, represented “the last significant piece” of the LNU Complex, fire officials said. They were working to marshal additional bulldozers, planes and other resources to assist in that effort.
8:25 a.m. Historic one-room school house destroyed by Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County: The loss of the Daniels Schoolhouse in Venado, which dates back to 1883, comes months after a renovation was completed at the school, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. Venado has seen both extremes of the climate spectrum in recent years; it was hit with 20 inches of rain in less than 48 hours during a February 2019 storm.
8:08 a.m. Marin Farmer: image of ‘resilient farmer’ conflates sacrifice with success: Images of masked farmworkers harvesting berries in smoky fields and brave farmers discing firebreaks emerge again on social media, with the hashtags #countystrong and #farmersareresilient. But one Marin County farmer, who had to evacuate his farm due to wildfire, says we need to reevaluate what it means to be “resilient.” “A food system that falls apart without people breathing smoke to get strawberries on the table is not resilient,” he writes.
7:41 a.m. Containment grows for SCU Complex: Firefighters increased their containment of the SCU Lighting Complex fire overnight by 5%. The blaze is now 25% contained, according to Cal Fire, and did not apparently grow at all overnight. Three first responders and two civilians have been injured, while 37 structures have been destroyed.
7:35 a.m. Woman found dead in Felton home: An official with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said investigators were looking into the death of 63-year-old woman who died in her Felton home on Tuesday. She was found after authorities were called to perform a welfare check. It’s not yet clear whether the woman’s death is directly related to the fires, but it is not being considered suspicious.
7:26 a.m. Bay Area farms scrambling to save summer harvest: Small farms on the San Mateo County coast have narrowly escaped destruction from the CZU Lightning Complex fires. But with roads still closed off, those farmers now face a different challenge: figuring out how to harvest what’s still growing abundantly in their fields — and transport it out of fire evacuation zones to farmers markets and donation sites.
6:14 a.m. Firefighters save ancient redwood at Armstrong park: Firefighters and state natural resources crews on Tuesday guided the Walbridge fire that has been blazing through wooded hillsides in Sonoma County largely around the towering redwoods in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Some trees sustained damage in their cavities, but the Colonel Armstrong tree — the oldest tree in the grove estimated to be 1,400 years old — was not damaged by the blaze. The historic Colonel Armstrong tree was “happy” on Tuesday, said Brendan O’Neil, a natural resources manager for California State Parks Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District who oversees the reserve.
6:04 a.m. CZU Complex fire grows only slightly: The CZU complex fire burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties grew by less than 500 acres overnight, standing at just over 80,000 acres as of Wednesday morning, Cal Fire officials said. The fire is still 19% contained, but cooler weather conditions are making firefighters optimistic they can continue to make progress against the blaze. Some 538 structures have been destroyed by the CZU Complex, all but 11 of which are in Santa Cruz County.
Updates from Tuesday Aug. 26:
9:06 p.m. Firefighters gradually beat back the SCU Lightning Complex Fire: After steadily making progress all day on a wildfire that scattered through Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, Cal Fire announced Tuesday night that the blaze is 20% contained, after devouring 365,772 acres. During the battle firefighters had to contend with falling trees and branches that often blocked roadways as they prepare for the possibility of high temperatures in the days ahead.
9 p.m. Three people cited for being in CZU Lightning Complex evacuation area, five people missing: Three people were cited for being in the CZU Lightning Complex evacuation area on Tuesday, said Chief Deputy Chris Clark of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. Clark said deputies responded to four welfare checks and 13 reports of suspicious people, but said no arrests were made on Tuesday. Clark said sheriff’s detectives are still investigating five missing persons’ reports — down by 2 reports from 7 reports earlier Tuesday morning — three of whom are from Bonny Doon, one from Ben Lomond and one from Boulder Creek. Eighteen sheriff’s deputies will be joined by 48 other personnel from other Santa Cruz County agencies and neighboring agencies to patrol the San Lorenzo Valley area on Tuesday night, Clark said. He also reported that detectives are making “significant progress” in the investigation into the wallet that was stolen from a Santa Cruz firefighter battling the fires, and says he hopes to provide additional information as the investigation continues.
7:48 p.m. SCU is 20% contained, still threatening homes: The SCU Lightning Complex has burned 365,722 acres since it began last week and continues to threaten 20,000 homes in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. It is now 20% contained. It has caused injuries to three first responders and two civilians, and has destroyed 18 homes or other buildings.
7:40 p.m. Relative, neighbors name LNU fires victim: A relative and neighbors told NBC Bay Area that a man who died on his property in Vacaville was James Leon Bone, a 64-year-old resident who was visually impaired.
7:10 p.m. Firefighters make progress in CZU Lightning Complex: Cal Fire officials said the weather conditions in and around the CZU Lightning Complex have “cooperated” with firefighters and have allowed crews to make progress in containing the fires. Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said that, “Every percent of containment is hours and hours of sweat and blood up on those lines.” Cal Fire said the fires continue to actively burn “above the marine layer in the heavy timber and thick undergrowth” in Southern San Mateo County and Northern Santa Cruz County, Cal Fire said in an incident update on Tuesday evening. As of before 6 p.m., Cal Fire said they had dropped about 195,000 gallons of retardent on Tuesday and expected to “meet or exceed” by Tuesday’s end the 200,000 gallons that were dropped the day before on Monday.
7 p.m. LNU Lightning Complex burns 356,326 acres: The LNU Lightning Complex burned 356,326 acres and was 27% contained as of Tuesday evening, according to Cal Fire. Cal Fire has recorded five fatalities among civilians, three from Napa County and two in Solano County. Four civilians have been injured, Cal Fire said. The fires have destroyed 978 structures, damaged 256 structures, and are currently threatening another 30,500 structures. Cal Fire said in an incident update Tuesday night that extreme fire behavior with “short and long range spotting are continuing to challenge” firefighters battling the blazes. “Fires continue to make runs in several directions, impacting multiple communities,” Cal Fire officials said in an incident update. Firefighters are expected to continue to contain the fires overnight. Cal Fire said 2,207 personnel are responding to the complex, along with 293 engines, 66 water tenders, 11 helicopters and 56 dozers.
6:45 p.m. 1.25 million acres burned in California so far, Cal Fire says: Across California, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said, 1.25 million acres of land have burned since Aug. 15. “That’s larger than the state of Delaware that we’ve seen consumed in the state of California over that period of time,” Cox said during a Tuesday night news conference. Across the state, more than 136,000 people have evacuated from their homes. More than 100 aircraft have been assigned to fight the fires across the state, Cox said, and more than 2.7 million gallons of retardant has been dropped on fires across the state in the past “ten plus days.”
6:10 p.m. CZU Lightning Complex burns 79,640 acres: The CZU — which is burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties — burned 79,640 acres and was 19% contained as of Tuesday evening, according to Cal Fire officials. Cal Fire officials said 443 structures have been destroyed, 11 of which were in San Mateo County and 432 in Santa Cruz County. Another 24,000 structures are treated by the fires, said Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox.
5:52 p.m. Sonoma County supervisor to tourists: Please stay home. “I want to remind any potential visitors that we are still in the midst of a major fire disaster,” Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, who represents the western swath of the county where the Walbridge Fire has torn through wooded hillsides and forced residents in several towns to evacuate. She noted that an influx of new people could prompt more calls for emergency services, overloading first responders at a time when they should be focused on battling the fires. “We love you, visitors in west county, we know that you support our local businesses, but for now, it is not the time to visit,” Hopkins said.
5:40 p.m. Evacuation orders reduced to warnings, warnings lifted in portions of Alameda County for SCU Lightning Complex: In Alameda County, Cal Fire changed evacuation orders to evacuation warnings related to the SCU Lightning Complex in the following areas: south of Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter and the Alameda/Santa Clara County line east of Calaveras Road at Welch Creek Road to the fire perimeter; and the county’s Zone 19, which is inside of the Ohlone Fire Perimeter, Cal Fire said. Evacuation warnings have been lifted in the following areas: Mill Creek Road from the 196 block to the 9000 block, east of Mission Boulevard from the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Mission Road, south to the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Curtner Road; east of Curtner Road south along Interstate 680 to the Scott Creek Road/Santa Clara County line; Tesla Road, north to Interstate 580 in-between Greenville Road and the San Joaquin County Line; and Calaveras Road, west to Mill Creek Road, south of Interstate 680 to the Ohlone Fire perimeter.
4:55 p.m. All CZU-related evacuation warnings lifted in Santa Clara County: All evacuation warnings related to the CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Clara County have been lifted. Cal Fire warned that “changing conditions in fire activity may cause this area to return to an Evacuation Warning or Evacuation Order at any time.” There are still evacuation warnings and orders in the county due to the SCU Lightning Complex. An evacuation map with details for the active warnings and orders for the SCU Lightning Complex can be found here.
3:55 p.m. Mutual aid from nine states assisting California fires: Firefighters and strike teams from nine states are assisting firefighting efforts in California, according to the California Office of Emergency Services. Teams from Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington are assisting, officials said.
3:50 p.m. Short-lived relief from smoky air: The relief from smoky air felt early Tuesday in parts of the wildfire-besieged Bay Area didn’t last long: By late morning air quality had taken a turn for the worse, hitting unhealthy levels again in the East Bay and Peninsula. Read the story here.
3 p.m. Spare the Air alert extended through Friday: A Spare the Air alert and ban on burning have been extended through Friday. People are urged to stay inside with doors and windows closed, unless heat is an issue, until smoke levels decrease.
2:32 p.m. Santa Clara County evacuation warning lifted for some areas: Wildfire evacuation warnings were lifted Tuesday in the Morgan Hill area south of Eagle View Drive, East of Peet Road., North of Half Road, West of Cochrane Road and West of Coyote Creek.
2:15 p.m. Oakland Zoo offers to rebook tickets: The Oakland Zoo is offering to reissue tickets that went unused by non-members when the Zoo closed early due to bad air quality Sunday and Tuesday and didn’t open at all on Monday. Tickets can be rebooked for up to 30 days.
1:42 p.m. Evacuation orders, warnings lifted for parts of Sonoma Coast: Wildfire evacuation orders and warnings were lifted Tuesday along the Sonoma County coast south of the Russian River, east of Dry Creek, the county sheriff’s office said. A full list of the roads and areas removed from the evacuation restrictions is here.
1:15 a.m. Santa Cruz area sees 77,000 evacuated: Rampaging fires forced evacuation of 77,000 people in Santa Cruz County as of Tuesday morning, Cal Fire said. Three of nine official evacuation shelters — those at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, the Seventh Day Adventist Campground and the Half Moon Bay High School — were filled to capacity.
1:11 p.m. San Mateo County seeks help for wildfire victims: San Mateo County officials are asking for new, unopened diapers, baby formula and school supplies to help those impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex fires. Items can be dropped off until Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the San Mateo Event Center’s Expo Hall, on Saratoga Drive. The county tweeted that monetary donations can be sent to @PuentePescadero and @RedCrossNorCal.
1:04 p.m. Meyers Fire almost completely contained: The Meyers Fire, which is part of the vast LNU Lightning Complex, was 97% contained, having consumed 2,360 acres along the Pacific Coast in Sonoma County, Cal Fire said Tuesday afternoon.
12:57 p.m. LNU Complex spreads in Napa, Lake, Sonoma counties: After two days of favorable weather enabled strides against the LNU Complex fires, flames continue to spread from the Hennessey Fire in Napa and Lake counties and the Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County, Cal Fire Chief Sean Kavanaugh said Tuesday. The Hennessey Fire is 29% contained after consuming 296,050 acres, the Walbridge Fire 17% contained at 54,503 acres. Firfighting efforts entail 2,194 firefighters, 304 fire engines and 12 helicopters. The LNU Complex overall was 27% contained Tuesday, at 352,913 acres.
12:42 p.m. Blazes in San Mateo, Santa Cruz counties: Firefighters report 17% containment of the CZU Complex fires burning across western parts of San Mateo County and the Santa Cruz Mountains as of late morning Tuesday. The fire complex has consumed 78,869 acres. The progress followed the fire’s first air support Monday, with six helicopters dumping water near Boulder Creek.
12:36 p.m. SCU Complex blaze is 15% contained: Cal Fire reports that the SCU Complex fires now have spread across 363,772 acres, with containment at 15% as of midday Tuesday. The massive cluster of fires is burning in the East Bay, South Bay and San Joaquin Valley.
12:27 p.m. Facebook launches wildfire relief fundraiser, donates meals: Facebook is matching community donations up to $500,000 and raised over $40,000 for wildfire relief as of Tuesday morning, with funds going to the American Red Cross. The company’s chefs are also donating hot meals, water and non-perishable food to evacuees, first respondents and volunteers through the Red Cross.
12:12 p.m. Experts tell how to lessen impact of bad air: Even when air quality conditions are moderate, wildfire smoke has become an unpleasant part of life for Bay Area residents, ranging from a nuisance for some to a health risk for others. Experts offer ideas on what to do to lessen the impact in your home, your car and daily life.
11:39 a.m. Air quality still a problem: Smoke wafting over the Bay Area from wildfires continues to make air quality unhealthy in many parts of San Francisco, the South Bay, the East Bay and the Peninsula. To check the air quality in your area, see The Chronicle’s tracker here.
11:28 a.m. Fire complexes grow in northern state counties: The many fires making up the Butte, Tehama and Glenn Lightning Complexes spread across 49,820 acres as of Tuesday morning, Cal Fire said. Firefighters had the blazes 13% contained.
11:13 a.m. Carmel Fire is 30% contained: Firefighters have managed to get the Carmel Fire 30% contained, as it stretched across 6,695 acres as of Tuesday morning. Progress enabled the lifting of evacuation orders and warnings in some areas. Cal Fire said vegetation still burning inside the containment lines will cause smoke and flames to be visible but not an imminent danger.
11:04 a.m. Lifetime of classic cars, hobby collections torched: Little is left besides melted carcasses of classic Chevys, along with the ashes of Ginny dolls, a stamp collection and a 500-piece train set, after voracious flames destroyed the Vacaville home of a couple in their 70s who were lifelong collectors. Read The Chronicle’s story about the tragedy here.
10:16 a.m. Smoky taste already impacts grapes: As Northern California winemakers face early wildfires spreading at harvest time, owner Noah Dorrance of Reeve Wines says he’s already tasting the impact on grapes near the Walbridge Fire. “I think there’s a better chance than not that we make almost no wine this year,” he said. Read The Chronicle’s story here.
9:59 a.m. Point Reyes fire growing despite cooler weather: Marin County’s Woodward Fire is growing in Point Reyes National Seashore, burning in thick brush, timber and chapparal that has no history of fire. It covered 2,739 acres in the northwest corner of the national seashore, and was just 5% contained Tuesday morning with the ocean providing most of that containment, U.S. Forest Service fire officials said. The park remains closed. Residents of Silverhills Road, Fox Drive and Noren Way south of Inverness Park were ordered to evacuate Monday night.
9:08 a.m. Where to find rescue resources for animals: From horses to hamsters to everything in between, livestock and pets are being displaced in the path of rampaging wildfires and smoke. The Chronicle has compiled a list of resources available in the Bay Area as organizations, agencies and volunteers step up to offer shelter for animals.
8:57 a.m. Cooler, moister weather to continue: Cooler temperatures and the marine layer that helped firefighters overnight are expected to continue through at least Thursday. Coastal fog and clouds moved further inland overnight, said David King, a National Weather Service meteorologist. The wind direction shifted, with light winds pushing much of the smoke to the east. “It will still be hazy,” King said. “But it’s good news for San Francisco and the Bay Area, not so much for the Central Valley.”
8:51 a.m. Battered schools now dealing with fire: Distance learning has been hard enough. On the Fifth & Mission podcast, education reporter Jill Tucker talks about the heartbreaking new trouble for schools in the remote communities of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Students and teachers have had to evacuate to escape the CZU Complex fires. Some have lost their homes. Some teachers are trying to keep their classes engaged in learning while not having a stable place to stay. Click here to listen.
8:41 a.m. Animal-rescue network saves animals large and small: A sweeping network of sanctuaries, agencies and animal rescue groups — from Daly City to UC Davis to Santa Cruz — is in full-combat mode as massive fires burn in the Bay Area and beyond. Steeped in practice from previous fires, they coordinate and shelter animals as farmers and ranchers are forced to move them away from danger. Read the story here.
8:24 a.m. Lake Berryessa, an escape during pandemic, is blackened: All but the eastern portion of Napa County’s Lake Berryessa was ravaged by fire last week, turning the lovely greenery into black and ashy swaths of land. The lake area had been abuzz with visitors during the pandemic as Bay Area visitors turned to its flowers and bucolic waters for day trips and quick getaways during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the story here.
8:00 a.m. SCU Complex spreads, but not much: The massive SCU Lightning Complex fires, burning mostly in dense dry brush in seven counties in East Bay, South Bay and San Joaquin Valley, grew slightly overnight while firefighters maintained 15% containment, officials reported Tuesday morning. The fires now cover 363,772 acres, have destroyed six structures and are threatening 20,000. Cooler temperatures and the return of the marine layer helped limit its pread overnight but flames were burning above 1,000 feet. Fallen trees and branches blocked roadways, hampering firefighters.
7:49 a.m. LNU Complex fires grow slightly overnight: The LNU Complex fires burning across the North Bay grew a little larger Tuesday as firefighters slightly increased their control of the conflagrations. Cal Fire reported Tuesday morning that the LNU fires now have consumed 352,913 acres, with containment at 27%. Five people have died and 937 structures have been destroyed with nearly 30,000 still threatened. Fire officials warned of “extreme fire behavior” and said thousands of people remain evacuated, particularly in the areas near the Walbridge Fire near the Russian River and Dry Creek Valley.
6:34 p.m. Santa Cruz mountain residents defy evacuation, save homes: A group of residents in rural Bonny Doon have whipped up their own fire brigade, pooling together bulldozers, tractors, hand crews and water lines, creating firebreak lines that halted flames, sometimes within feet of homes. They’re now credited with saving dozens of homes after doing what fire officials and their own families begged them not to: fight the flames themselves.
6:26 a.m. ‘Trauma on top of trauma’— Bay Area students under pandemic stress face wildfire risks: School had only just gotten underway last week when clusters of wildfires ripped through Northern California. Already struggling with the stress of the pandemic and the challenges of virtual learning, the wildfires pose new threats to children’s well-being. The trauma, experts say, is piling up with potential lifelong consequences affecting their mental, emotional and physical health as well as their ability to learn.
6:07 a.m. Firefighters tout ‘significant progress’ on CZU Complex: Cal Fire officials said Tuesday morning that the CZU Complex burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties is now just under 79,000 acres in size and is 17% contained. Overnight, that marks only a slight growth of the fire cluster’s size and a 4% jump in containment. Cal Fire officials said they’ve made “significant progress” against the blazes and have been receiving a “steady trickle of resources” they’ve rapidly put to use. Still, 25,000 structures remained threatened and 330 have been destroyed, most of which in Santa Cruz County.