Thursday, May 22, 2008

Santa Cruz Mountains Summit Fire

Just to let you all know, this fire is indeed our area, but located a few miles to the south. Summit Road is quite long and crosses Highway 17, with our house being located on the north side away from the fast-moving blaze. Prevailing winds are blowing the hot spots further away from us, but anyway of course that just means the fire heads more towards where friends and acquaintances live. Someone still gets hit. Estimates are that currently well over 2,000 acres has burned, with some predicting a total loss of over 10,000 acres by the time it's all said and done. 20 structures have burned but so far no one has been injured.

Next big worry is that the town of Corralitos is in the current path the fire is taking.

We lost power at home late this morning but not clear if that's a related incident or not.
Update, 6 pm: Summit Road seems to be open in both directions, at least for the major sections directly north and south of 17. Winds are still strong but starting to tail down, moving now to blow from the north west, therefore forcing the fire southwards and into further fresh supplies of fuel. Reports say that the fire is "boxed-in" rather than contained so clearly we still have a long way to go before this is over. Thankfully, forecast for tonight & tomorrow is for lighter winds and higher humidity. A dozen homes have been destroyed with hundreds of people now covered by an evacuation order.
Update, 7 am: Outside, everything is covered by low, grey cloud and a strong smell of smoke hangs in the air. Looks like the wind has dropped resulting in the smoke flattening out and spreading more widely. Will take a look as I head up the road. If things stay quiet today then CDF should be able to make a lot of progress, though if even a gentle breeze sets up directly aligned with a canyon then the fire can more very quickly indeed. (Often what happens in Southern California during the wildfire season.)

More news as it happens.

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