CZU August Lightning Complex fires grow to 25,000 acres

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Lightning-caused wildfires in southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Cruz County had grown to 25,000 acres, destroyed at least 20 structures and was zero percent contained as of Wednesday evening,  according to Cal Fire.

They’re among 367 known fires statewide that broke out following a 72-hour period of nearly 11,000 lightning strikes and record hot temperatures, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

In southern San Mateo County, the CZU August Lightning Complex fires continued to threaten the communities of La Honda and Pescadero, Operations Section Chief Mark Brunton said. In Santa Cruz County, the community of Bonny Doon is “being directly impacted by fire,” Brunton added. Fire officials believe weather conditions in the coming days could mean the communities of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond and Felton will be impacted.

Areas where there have been evacuation orders include:

  • South Skyline Blvd. Area near Highway 9
  • Russian Ridge Open Space Reserve Area
  • Middleton Tract Area
  • Portola Redwoods State Park and the Portola Heights Community Area
  • Loma Mar and Dearborn Park Area
  • Pescadero Creek County Park Area
  • Butano Community Area
  • Butano State Park Area including Barranca Knolls Community
  • Butano Creek Drainage
  • Whitehouse Canyon

An evacuation center has been set up at Pescadero High School at 360 Butano Cutoff. Visit the regional evacuations portal for more information.

The multiple fires were sparked by lightning over the weekend, and winds helped them to spread, fire officials said. The August Lightning fires have caused injuries to three first responders.

The large number of wildfires across the state has hampered resources to fight the San Mateo-Santa Cruz blazes. Visit Cal Fire’s incident map for more information on the status of wildfires throughout the state.