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.