Santa Cruz brush fire prompts evacuations


The fire which started near Empire Grade and Felton Empire Road began shortly after 3:00 p.m. (View a Google map of the fire area here)

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for residents on Smith Grade and Martin Road. Further evacuations have been recommedned for residents along Ice Cream Grade, Pine Flat and Moon Rock roads. As many as 1,400 residents have been evacuated.

CAL FIRE officials say local government resources that have been sent to the fire include 15 engine strike teams, 20 strike teams of hand crews. Four helicopters and five air tankers are currently fighting the fire with more on the way. Twenty bulldozers have been ordered to assist in cutting the fire line.

Two-hundred acres have burned so far, but that is expected to grow to as many as 1,000 acres. There is no estimate of containment at this time.

The temperature in the area is 79 degrees, but the humidity is extremely low. Winds are blowing down the mountain at 8-14 miles per hour.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School.

The following roads have been closed:

  • Alba at Empire Grade
  • Empire Grade at Smith
  • Felton Empire at Ashley
  • Smith at Bonny Doon
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