lightning strikes has sparked hundreds of
wildfires around Northern California, burning homes and prompting evacuations.
BAY AREA WILDFIRES: The latest on evacuation orders, road closures, containment numbers
Here are the latest developments on the blazes in the Bay Area.
Aug. 23, 2020
CZU Lightning Complex fire update
Officials will hold a press conference at 6 a.m. to give an update on the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that’s burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. You can watch on ABC7 News or live on abc7news.com/live.
Aug. 22, 2020
Walbridge Fire burns 50,000 acres, officials concerned about wind shift, thunderstorms
The Walbridge Fire burning in Sonoma County is the top priority within the LNU Lightning Complex. At over 50,000 acres and 0% containment, CAL FIREsays the concern is wind shift and thunderstorms expected on Sunday.
“With the wind shift and then also looking ahead at the potential for thunderstorms moving through the area — there were additional warnings and orders that went into effect — that somewhat stretch along the west side of Highway 101 and in the area south of Cloverdale to the area of Windsor. So that’s a large area, that’s a big geographical area but it also shows what the potential is out here,” Paul Lowenthal, public information officer for CAL FIRE said.
Read the full story here.
Families try to save homes as CZU Lightning Complex Fire burns 67K acres
Families are desperately trying to save their homes as the CZU Lightning Complex Fire continues to scorch 67,000 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. According to CAL FIRE, the fire is only 5% contained. ABC7 spoke to families who were helping fire crews fight the flames.
“We saved a lodge and 20 cabins below,” said Mark Hendricks. “Now, we’re working on another lodge and another cabin and few houses… one house just burnt down this morning.” Hendricks is trying to save what’s left of the Sequoia Retreat Center in Ben Lomond.
Read the full story here.
SCU Lightning Complex Fire burns 48,000 acres on Saturday, becomes 2nd largest fire in CA history
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire becomes the second-largest fire in California’s history, surpassing the LNU Lightning Complex fire on Saturday evening. As of 7 p.m., CAL FIRE officials reported that the SCU Lightning Complex fire has scorched 339,968 acres across Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. The LNU Lightning Complex Fires which include Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo and Lake counties, burned 325128 acres, officials report. California’s largest wildfire was 2018’s Mendocino Complex, which burned more than 459,000 acres in Colusa, Lake, Mendocino and Glenn counties.
Forward progress stopped on 3 fires burning near College of Marin in Novato
Officials say all forward progress has stopped on the series of fires that burned near the campus of College of Marin in Novato.
Crews respond to series of fires near the College of Marin in Novato
Crews are responding to a series of fires near the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus in Novato. Officials say the fire is not on the campus. No evacuations have been ordered and officials are asking for people to avoid the area. Latest here.
CAL FIRE issues evacuation warning in parts of Alameda Co. ahead of expected winds, thunderstorms
CAL FIRE issued an evacuation warning Saturday night for unincorporated parts of Alameda County because of expected high winds and scattered thunderstorms, according to the county sheriff’s office. The conditions could begin tomorrow morning, through Tuesday night, the sheriff’s department said. Residents with pets and livestock are encouraged by officials to leave the area due to fire threat. The warning applies to those in unincorporated, eastern areas of the county. For a map showing areas under the warning, click here.
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CAL FIRE gives update on CZU Lightning Complex Fire
The CZU Lightning Complex Fire is estimated at 67,000 acres with 5 percent containment, CAL FIRE said during an evening press conference Saturday. A total of 24,000 structures remain threatened by the wildfire, the agency said.
Crews knock down 2-alarm grass fire in San Bruno
San Bruno Fire Dept. has contained a 2-alarm grass fire that burned 1-acre west of I-280 in San Bruno. Latest here.
White House approves CA request for disaster declaration
The White House approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration which will help with the state’s response to the Northern California wildfires, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday.
The governor thanked the president in a statement Saturday as California firefighters and first responders take on wildfires and “unprecedented” conditions sparked by last weekend’s lightning event.
According to the governor’s office, the federal disaster declaration helps eligible Californians with crisis counseling, unemployment, legal services and housing during the wildfire crisis. The federal government will also provide assistance to state, tribal and local governments in emergency response, Newsom’s office said Saturday.
Crews battle multiple small grass fires in San Bruno
San Bruno Fire is battling a grass fire along the area of I-280 south of Crystal Springs and Peninsula High School. Officials advise there is no need to evacuate at this time and ask people to stay away from the area of Courtland Drive.
⚠️ATTENTION⚠️ San Bruno Fire is working a grass fire along the area of I280 south of Crystal Springs and Peninsula High School. Fire department officials advise there is no need to evacuate at this time. Please stay away from the area or Courtland Drive. pic.twitter.com/t2XzWAL96F
— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) August 23, 2020
Marin Co. officials discuss latest on Woodward Fire in virtual town hall
The Woodward Fire is burning through Point Reyes National Seashore, north of Bolinas. As of Saturday morning, officials say the fire has burned 2,259 acres and is 5% contained. It’s burning in the north and northeast direction. Officials say they are concerned of the wind getting stronger within the next few days.
Sonoma County and CAL FIRE officials give update on wildfires
Officials from Sonoma County and CAL Fire spoke warning residents of the anticipated weather (and wind) change tomorrow.
So far, 314,207 acres have burned and is 15 percent contained. The fire has been mostly burning in the southwest direction of the Dry Creek area.
They are telling residents to be ready to evacuate, and to also check on your neighbors.
SCU Lightning Complex Fire 3rd Largest Fire in CA History
CAL FIRE says as of Aug. 22, the SCU Lightning Complex Fire is the third largest fire in California history. It joins the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, which was recently labeled the second largest fire in the state’s history.
Spare the Air Alert Extended Through Wednesday
A Spare the Air Alert has been extended through Wednesday, August 26.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee Calls for Expedited Major Disaster Declaration for CA Fires
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has called on Donald Trump to expedite federal assistance requested by the State of California to combat the devastating wildfires that have swept across Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties over the last week. Congresswoman Lee said in a statement:
“Across California, extreme heat and lightning strikes contributed to some of the worst wildfires we have ever seen. As of today, almost 1 million acres have burned, including parts of our oldest state park. Damage to public and private property has been significant with thousands of homes destroyed. More than 100,000 have had to evacuate. People have died.
She continues on to say:
“I am joining Governor Newsom and my colleagues in Congress to call on FEMA and the White House to expedite a Major Disaster Declaration and render immediate federal aid to California. It is crucial that California can count on the federal government’s assistance in addressing this natural disaster.
You can read full statement here.
CAL FIRE Lifts Evacuation Warning
The fire agency says the Evacuation Warning along Highway 121 (Monticello Road) from Vichy Ave to Silverado Trail in Napa County is lifted and no longer in place.
CAL FIRE officials update on LNU Lightning Complex Fire
Officials say, 314, 207 acres have burned and is 15 percent contained, 560 buildings have been destroyed, and roughly 125 structures are damaged. You can watch the video in our main video player up above.
New evacuation orders in Sonoma County
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has issued updated evacuation orders due to the Walbridge Fire along Highway 101 north of Windsor. Latest orders here.
CAL FIRE reports Acres Burned in SCU Lightning Complex Fire Rise
CAL FIRE says the SCU Lightning Complex Fire has burned 291,968 acres (up from 229, 968 acres) and is still 10 percent contained.
Marin Co. officials update on Woodward Fire burning in North Bay
Officials say the fire has burned 2,259 acres and is five percent contained. It’s burning in the north and northeast direction. They are concerned of the wind getting stronger within the next few days.
WATCH: Marin County officials update on Woodward Fire
Cow Palace opens as evacuation center for animals
The Cow Palace is opening up as an evacuation center for livestock.The venue has set up shelters for horses and other large animals because of the fires.
Owners are asked to make sure their animals have identification tags on them with your phone number. They are asking for donations for wheel barrows, bales, and water.
You can find out how to donate on the Cow Palace website.
CAL FIRE CZU Lightning Complex Fire briefing
Officials gave a second morning briefing to update the day’s plan of attack for the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.
You can watch the full 6a.m. press conference down below.
WATCH: CAL FIRE CZU Lightning Complex Fire briefing
Sonoma Co. Sheriff’s helicopter rescues two firefighters stuck battling Woodward Fire
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office says a helicopter rescue team saved two firefighters with the Marin County Fire Department on Friday night, as they were suddenly trapped by flames from the Woodward Fire, near Point Reyes. The sheriff’s office said the two firefighters were deep in the brush when they found themselves stuck and about 75 yards away from the advancing flames. Both were successfully pulled out and flown to safety.
CAL FIRE press conference
CAL FIRE officials working the CZU Lightning Complex Fire provided updates during their 6 a.m. press conference on the disastrous wildfire that’s grown to burn at least 63,000 acres, reached 5% containment and destroyed nearly 100 buildings.
You can tune in live to watch by joining ABC7 News, streaming live on abc7news.com/watch/live.
Aug. 21, 2020
Suspected looters arrested
Five people were arrested in Santa Cruz, suspected of looting evacuated homes. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department called the alleged act “terrible and disgusting,” and say the group had two carloads of stolen property.
Santa Cruz evacuation center already full
One of the main evacuation shelters for the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Cruz County is at capacity. 79 families are there, and due to COVID-19 precautions, space is limited as people have to keep proper social distance. San Mateo County has since opened two new shelters to help provide more shelter to evacuess.
Couple loses ‘dream home’ to wildfire
Bernat and Anne Riudavets moved to Napa County from San Francisco four years ago to build their dream home. They got married on the property, and although flames from the Hennessey Fire destroyed their beloved house Wednesday night, their wedding altar still stands on the property. The Hennessey Fire is a piece of the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, which has grown to more than 302,000 acres with just 15 percent containment,
Residents wait to evacuate Walbridge Fire
LNU Lightning Complex Incident in the North Bay has burned at least 219,067 acres. As the Walbridge Fire, one of the many that make up this massive blaze, approaches the Russian River, many residents are choosing not to evacuate their homes. Once local tells ABC7 News there are still “hundreds” of people there. The fire is only 7% contained.
Sonoma Co. officials provide wildfire update
The LNU Lightning Complex fires remain at 219,067 acres with 7 percent containment, officials confirmed during an afternoon press conference with Sonoma County and CAL FIRE officials. A fire official said there was not much fire growth overnight and into Friday. Officials also said there was increased fire behavior Friday in the Dry Creek Valley side of the fire, but there is less smoke in the air.
About 500 firefighters have been added to the crew fighting the Walbridge Fire. That fire remains around 3,000 acres, which is “good news,” a fire official said Friday. At this point, the fire is heading toward the Russian River, but has not crossed the water yet. Officials say they are concerned over changing weather conditions and a possible change in winds.
Evacuation orders lifted for Vacaville
In a tweet by Vacaville Police on Friday, it said it has lifted all evacuation orders for the city of Vacaville.
“We are happy to report ALL evacuation orders for the city of Vacaville now been lifted.”
The agency said there are no active evacuation orders within the Vacaville city limits and all residents are clear to return to their homes.
Update 1:05pm – We are happy to report ALL evacuation orders for the city of Vacaville now been lifted. This means there are no active evacuation orders within the Vacaville city limits and all residents are clear to return to their homes.
— Vacaville Police (@VacavillePolice) August 21, 2020
Some evacuation orders lifted in Napa County
Cal Fire says “effective Immediately” evacuation orders have been lifted and are no longer in effect for the portion of Silverado Trail between Rosedale Road and Highway 29. Evacuation orders on Highway 29 from Silverado Trail to the Lake County Line, excluding the portion within the Calistoga city limits, remain in effect.
Travis Air Force base lifts its evacuation order
Travis Air Force base said it has lifted its evacuation order after shutting down the base out of caution to the LNU Lightning Complex Fire in Solano County.
LNU Lightning Complex fires grow to 219,000 acres, 7 percent contained
The LNU Lightning Complex fires burning in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties have grown to a combined 219,067 acres with 7% containment, according to CAL FIRE. There are 30,500 structures being threatened and 480 destroyed.
Healdsburg under evacuation warning
The Walbridge Fire burning near Healdsburg is causing more destruction overnight. Flames on Wallace Creek Road near Mill Creek Road caused heavy destruction. The entire city of Healdsburg is under an evacuation warning.
CAL FIRE gives update on wildfires in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties
CAL FIRE gave an update this morning on the wildfires raging out of control in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. The CZU Lightning Complex fires have torched close to 50,000 acres. Scotts Valley residents and the UC Santa Cruz campus are the latest to be evacuated and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been forced to close.
Aug. 20, 2020
4 dead in LNU Lightning Complex Fire
The LNU Lightning Complex Fire has grown to 215,000 acres and has claimed the lives of four Bay Area residents, CAL FIRE said late Thursday night. Three people in Napa County have died and one person in Solano County has died. The fire remains at zero percent containment.
UC Santa Cruz issues mandatory evacuation order for all on-campus residents
UC Santa Cruz has issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday to all students and employees living on campus. All residents living in campus housing must evacuate immediately and be prepared to not return for at least two weeks. The evacuation center for UCSC is in Coconut Grove at the Boardwalk.
Man found dead during fire damage assessment in Solano County, sheriff’s officials say
A man who lived on Pleasants Valley Road in Solano County has died, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
Solano County Sheriff’s Office says they discovered the deceased man during a search assessing fire-damaged areas in the English Hills area near Pleasants Valley Road.
It is unclear at this time if his death was related to the wildfires.
CZU Lightning Complex Fire grows in size
The CZU Lightning Complex Fire is now at 48,000 acres with no containment, CAL FIRE announced Thursday night. More than 20,000 structures are threatened and 50 are destroyed, the agency said during a 6 p.m. update.
Poor air quality from fires shuts down Alameda Co. COVID-19 testing site
The COVID-19 testing site at the Alameda County fairgrounds will be closed Wednesday due to poor air quality from the wildfires burning across the Bay Area, the city of Pleasanton says.
Felton, surrounding areas in Santa Cruz County told to evacuate
Felton must evacuate immediately due to the fast-moving CZU August Fire. Mandatory evacuations are in effect from Davenport south to the Santa Cruz city limits. Also throughout the northern part of the county including Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon and North Coast. Ben Lomond and Lompico must evacuate immediately.
LNU Lightning Complex fires explode in size
The LNU Lightning Complex fires burning in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties have grown to a combined 130,000 acres overnight with 0% containment, according to CAL FIRE. There are 30,500 structures being threatened and 105 destroyed.
Sonoma Co. updates list of school closures
The following Sonoma County schools/districts have cancelled distance learning due to evacuations: Alexander Valley School District (closed Thursday), Guerneville School District (closed through Friday, Aug. 21, Healdsburg (closed Thursday), Kashia School (closed Thursday), Monte Rio School District (closed through Friday, Aug. 21), Montgomery School District (closed through Friday, Aug. 21), West Side School District (Closed Thursday). Additional school districts in or near the evacuation area are Fort Ross and Forestville, both of which are not yet in session. Families are advised to check the school district for updates about distance learning.
PG&E worker dies in Vacaville while assisting first responders
A Vacaville-based Pacific Gas and Electric troubleman died while assisting first responders as they dealt with the LNU Complex Fire, PG&E spokesperson James Guidi stated. No other details have been released out of respect for the troubleman’s family, Guidi said. According to Cal Fire, as of Wednesday night, four civilian injuries due to the fire had been reported.
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