Summit Fire Update: Some Evacuees Return Home

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA The cooler, moist weather is helping crews contain the fire. It's burned 3,900 acres since it started Thursday.

The fire is about 70% percent contained but is still threatening about 100 homes.

Close to 3,000 firefighters, including hundreds from the Valley are in Santa Clara County working to put the fire out.

Fire officials are preparing to send some of the crews home because of the progress that's been made.

Firefighters expect to have the fire surrounded by Tuesday.

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Mail delivery questions
U.S. Postal Service mail carriers from Los Gatos and Watsonville are expected to resume full deliveries to rural areas near the fire zone on Tuesday. In total, about 180 deliveries throughout the region were cancelled Friday because of the fire. Residents who missed deliveries can pick up mail at the Los Gatos Post Office on South Santa Cruz Avenue or the Watsonville Post Office on Main Street.

Friday night Updates:
An injured firefighter will be transported by a ground ambulance away from the fireline and airlifted out of the area. He had chest pains and suffered from fatigue. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening. >> Video: One firefighter was injured late Friday evening

Fire jumps fireline and firefighters fight spot fires in places where the fire has already passed.
>> Video: Fire jumps fireline near Summit Road

People in Corralitos who evacuated their homes are still waiting for the word to return.
>> Video: Evacuees wait for a second night to return

Evacuations and Red Cross Information

Mandatory evacuations are being ordered in the following locations:

  • Buzzard Lagoon
  • Hazel Dell
  • Lower Highland

Main evacuation number for the public: (408) 201-0474

The American Red Cross has opened temporary evacuation centers in the Crosetti Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, located at 2601 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville, and at the Los Gatos Community Center located at 208 East Main Street in Los Gatos. The American Red Cross will be providing food, a safe place to rest and counseling until evacuated residents are allowed to return to their homes. Residents should contact CalFire at (831) 335-6717 or (831) 335-6718 for information on whether your home is in an evacuation area. (www.sccredcross.org)

Click here for a map of evacuation points.

Cochrane Road Self Storage is offering two months of free storage to anyone in affected areas. For more information contact (408) 782-8883 ( 411 Woodview Ave. in Morgan HIll).

A Morgan Hill RV company is offering to provide new trailers for families to temporarily stay in for free. Alpine RV said they will have at least three trailers ready this morning for fire victims in need. For more information you can call 1-800-290-9232

CAL FIRE air base

The first planes sent in to fight the fire had to come all the way from Santa Rosa, 140 miles away. That's because the nearest CAL FIRE air base, in Hollister, wasn't scheduled to open until June 1. The bases serve as landing strips where tankers fly in, load up with retardant, and return to fight the fire. CAL FIRE called in its crews and managed to get the Hollister base up and running within a few hours.

Poor air quality

Doctors are warning about the danger of smoke particles in the air. This is especially problematic for anyone who suffers from heart or lung illnesses, such as emphysema and asthma.

In Watsonville, farm workers had to stop early in the day because the air quality was so bad.

The wind will help push the smoke out of the area, but that also contributes to spreading the fire itself.

On Friday, the wind shifted north, and health officials in Santa Clara County are advising residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors.

>> VIDEO: ABC7's Terry McSweeney reports

Closures

Road closures have been ordered for Summit, Mount Madonna and Pole Line roads, as well as at Corralitos & Freedom and Varney & Corralitos.

All Pajaro Valley Unified School District schools will be closed Friday. However, C.T. English Middle School and Loma Prieta Elementary School will also be closed on Friday.

Animal safety

Residents with animals are encouraged to bring them to Sprig Lake on the eastside of Hecker Pass Highway. Livestock animals can also be brought to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Smaller animals, such as dogs and cats, can be brought to Santa Cruz County Animal Services at 27 Janus Way in Scotts Valley and in Watsonville at 580 Airport Boulevard.

If you would like to adopt an animal that has been rescued from the fire, contact Santa Cruz Animal Services at (831)454-7303.

People needing assistance moving livestock should call (831) 454-7303.

Summit fire images
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Friday (5/23) summit fire video

Thursday (5/22) summit fire video

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