One-stop help center for wildfire victims opens in Pescadero

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Pescadero Elementary School has become a one-stop assistance center for San Mateo County residents impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex fires, offering a wide variety of resources, according to county officials.

Meanwhile, a temporary evacuation center at Half Moon Bay High School was set to close Tuesday evening as services move to the Pescadero assistance center.

The Pescadero center at 620 North St. is staffed by FEMA representatives who can assist residents with applying for assistance. Residents who suffered losses should contact their insurance companies first, as they will deliver the majority of financial help in disasters, according to the County. For losses not covered by insurance, people can register for disaster assistance in three ways: online through, by using the FEMA App or by calling 800-621-3362, county officials notes.

Starting Tuesday, the Pescadero center will feature representatives from the California Dept. of Insurance, the DMV, California Department of Social Services, California Dept. of Public Health Vital Records, San Mateo County Human Services Agency, San Mateo County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures, San Mateo County Veterans Services, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Puente de la Costa Sur and San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group.

The center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  No appointments are necessary, and all visitors must wear a face covering and comply with health orders. For more information on the county’s wildfire recovery effort, click here.

As of Tuesday morning, the wildfires had consumed 85,218 acres across San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, with 43 percent containment. The fire has destroyed 921 homes and damaged another 90 across both counties. About 35,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders, the majority in Santa Cruz County. In San Mateo County, evacuation orders have been lifted in some areas. About 360 evacuees remain lodged in County hotels, and more than 800 large animals and many small animals remain evacuated and are being cared for by volunteer organizations and agencies, the County said.

Roads that remain closed due to the fires include Highway 1 at Gazos Creek Road; Cloverdale Road at Butano Cutoff; Pescadero Creek Road at Butano Cutoff and Pescadero Creek Road at Burns Valley Road.

All San Mateo County Parks remain closed until further notice as park rangers support firefighting efforts.

Photo credit: San Mateo County