Situation re/California Fires

The view from our front porch in Boulder Creek
This report was sent to me Friday night by Liz Jensen, who lives in Bonny Doon, in the mountains near Boulder Creek, CA, where I lived for 14 years before moving to Mexico. They have evacuated the five towns in the San Lorenzo Valley where I lived, plus folks in the mountains around. So sad. Here is Liz’s report:
Good morning everyone. I listen to the 0600 Cal Fire briefing this morning and thought I would provide an update here. Lots of information so bear with me if some of it is a little confusing.
Summary first: there were 11000 + lightning strikes in the tropical storm that came through. There were 370 fire starts. 13 turned into large Fires at the state level.
State calfire is doing triage at the state level allocating incoming fire personnel from other states based on multiple assessments – danger to public, critical infrastructure Etc and then sending out Personnel based on that analysis.
State inmate Cruz are down due to  Covid. those that remain are being allocated between the 13 major fires. All emergency personnel are stretched too thin due to the large number of fires. The state is looking at the National Guard but has not yet made a decision to call them up. They are not trained firefighters but can do support to the fire teams.
Now onto the San Mateo Santa Cruz Monterey Bay Area.
There are three major fires burning in our area. The Carmel fire has 700 Personnel, the river fire has 780 personnel and the fire is 34000 Acres, and the Santa Cruz lightning complex fire which currently has 1000 personnel.
They now have more personnel and are doing hard closures to keep people out. Right now there’s a road closure at Highway 1 and Schaefer Road Felton Empire is closed and Felton Empire and Empire Grade at Jameson and Alba.
Currently the Santa Cruz Fire is at 50,000 Acres, 64,000 people have been evacuated 50 homes have been destroyed officially but they expect that to go into triple digits.
The most active fire front is on the Eastern flank near Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond. They are now starting to establish a fire line to protect Santa Cruz and UCSC. UCSC is now evacuated and the report is that the fire is one mile north at Twin gates but is spotty in that area.
As for conditions, this is a historic fire burning in ways not previously encountered. They really want to keep people out so they can work on establishing perimeters rather than defending people who have stayed home to fight fires in their neighborhood. With scarce resources they want to put personnel where they can do the most good to stop forward progression.
I have no comment on this as I know many brave people are staying to defend homes and neighborhoods. I am just reporting what was in the briefing this morning.
 Aircraft still can’t fly over to do fire drops because the smoke is laying low and they can’t see fire underneath it. We currently have the worst air quality in the world and people are recommended to stay inside as much as possible.
The next 2 days are going to be more favorable 4 suppressing the fire because of higher humidity due to fog and lower wind speeds. However after that conditions turn unfavourable again.
Okay that’s my update. I took notes take everything with a grain of salt as the situation is extremely fluid and changing all the time. Good luck to everyone and stay safe.
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About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

10 thoughts on “Situation re/California Fires

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Me, too. So hard to think what those in that area are going through. Hope the firefighters are safe. So far all friends that I’ve heard from or been able to locate are relocated and safe.

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  1. Betty

    My son and wife live in santa cruz they were advised to pack a Togo bag, by the local gov. Ashes all over and burned leaves. A relative in Scott Valley evacuated.

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  2. Laureen

    My heart breaks for the Santa Cruz mountains, actually all of Northern CA. I spoke with a dear friend this morning, who was a neighbor when we lived on Skyline Boulevard, between Highway 9 and Page Mill Road. They were evacuated recently, and are now safe, staying with their son in Redwood City, thank goodness. Several years ago, Jan helped them build a tiled patio that was over 3,000 square feet, which is a good firebreak, and their home is partially underground, but one never knows if one’s home will still be there with fires so huge, and nowhere near containment. Pray for more fog and no more wind.
    I remember the devastation of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1987, when we were still living on Skyline Blvd. There was so much damage, and this is much worse. So much sadness.

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  3. slmret

    Judy — this is so sad to read! I’m happy, though, that your friends seem to be safe — at least the ones you have been in contact with. Any later news today? In SoCal, we still have brown air, although it seems at dusk to be clearing a little. It’s cooler than it has been, and is expected to stay at about 88 for the next week or so. Hopefully the air will clear so we can all get outside and breathe some clean air!

    Liked by 1 person

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