There was a lot of fear and worry that the Santa Cruz fire that erupted on Wednesday would do a lot more damage that it did.
On Friday night there were still hundreds of firefighters on the line still fighting the fire and putting out hot spots. Lots of homeowners, though got to take a look at what damage was left after the fire.
"There's a big sense of relief. I was very worried. I have the original wood shake roof on the house," said Kurt Christiansen, a Pine Ridge homeowner.
He left the sprinklers on his roof going when he evacuated. His house and his neighbors' survived and they credit the firefighters.
"They were cutting what the firefighters described as, 'A six lane highway' around the neighborhood as a firebreak," said Christiansen.
At 6 p.m. on Friday night, the evacuation order on Pine Ridge and Empire Grade was officially lifted. Returning residents had to put away the computers and photos they snatched in a panic on their way out.
"We ransacked our own house. Dumping out boxes and finding papers and things that we really needed, so our house was a disaster," said Alan Chase, an evacuee.
The 600 acre Bonny Doon fire took off Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, 889 firefighters from across the state took a stand with bulldozers and helicopters.
"The weather really cooperated with us today. We had high humidities, almost no wind on the fire, so our crews were able to almost double their efforts from yesterday, so we are currently at 65 percent contained. We are expected to be fully contained by tomorrow," said Bill Peters, a CAL FIRE Spokesman.
Local fire crews have been sent home. Others will work though the night unless safety becomes an issue.
"Last night we had to stop and pull back because a lot of the trees that were burned, have become hazardous and one fell last night and almost hit crew members," said Peters.
Nearby residents applauded the progress as they voiced their frustration.
"No internet, no radio, no TV, and luckily we have a short-wave. That is all that we were getting and it's our disaster," said Laurie Babka, a nearby resident.
However, disaster was adverted. Ten buildings were destroyed, two of them homes, but residents say they see the silver lining.
"They can get it all out and nothing flares up, it's going to be a blessing in disguise because it's only going to bring a lot of awareness to what we need to do to keep this from all happening again. It has burned up a lot of the dead limbs and stuff that were down in the forest there," said Christiansen.
Evacuation orders have been lifted on Friday for the following areas
The following areas are still evacuated
Animal evacuation information
Santa Cruz County Bank is accepting donations. Call (831) 457-5000 during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Evacuees not allowed back at Martin Fire
- 5 PM: Vic Lee reports
- 5 PM: Evacuees go to new shelter in Scotts Valley
- 11AM: Katie Hammer and Anne Makovec report
- 6 AM: Katie Hammer reports
- 6 AM: Anne Makovec on evacuations ordered
- RAW VIDEO: SKY7-HD over Martin Fire 6:30 am
- RAW VIDEO: SKY7-HD over the scene (1)
- RAW VIDEO: SKY7-HD over the scene (2)
- RAW VIDEO: SKY7-HD over the scene (3)
- RAW VIDEO: Home threatened by fire
- RAW VIDEO: Home burns in fire
- 11 PM: Alan Wang reports
- 11 PM: Lisa Amin reports
- 9 PM: Alan Wang reports
- 6:42 PM: Lisa Amin reports
- 6:40 PM: Wayne Freedman reports
- 6:15 PM: Update from fire officials (Press conference)
- 6:00 PM: Lisa Amin reports
- 5:05 PM: Lisa Amin reports
- INTERVIEW: Batt. Chief Paul Van Gerwen (6:50 PM)
- INTERVIEW: Office of Emergency Services
- INTERVIEW: Bonny Doon Winery employee
- INTERVIEW: Resident describes evacuation
- INTERVIEW: Batt. Chief Paul Van Gerwen
- INTERVIEW: ABC7 photojournalist Ian Babcock