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Fire merge into 40,000-acre inferno in San Mateo, Santa Cruz counties

Various wildfires blazing in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, dubbed the CZU August Lightning Complex fires, have merged and spread to 40,000 acres with 0 percent containment as of Thursday morning, according to Cal Fire.

Twenty structures have been destroyed, with 8,593 more structures threatened. Two first responders have also been injured battling the blazes, according to Cal Fire.

In a briefing on Cal Fire’s Twitter page, Cal Fire spokesman Dan Olson said:

“Overnight we saw the fire make significant runs in the Davenport, Ben Lomond and Empire ridge area. Multiple evacuation orders and warnings were issued throughout the course night and we anticipate more in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Cal Fire The CZU Lightning Complex fires in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties merged into a 40,000-acre fire bv the morning of Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. More than 28,000 people in the area have been evacuated.

The increased flames have forced additional evacuation orders to be placed on all areas of Felton. More than 28,000 people have been evacuated, according to Cal Fire.

Almost 600 personnel are using 44 engines, 21 water tenders, 10 dozers and 7 helicopters to respond to the fires. However, fire resources are scarce because of the high number of fires in Northern California. Smoke is also limiting the ability of aircraft operations, according to Cal Fire.

There are three evacuation centers open for residents of Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties: Half Moon Bay High School, 1 Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay; Santa Cruz County Fairground, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville; and Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz.

To view the most current evacuation information and see a map of the CZU Lightning Complex, people can visit

To sign up for email updates, people can visit

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