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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summit Fire 100% Contained - Update 5/28/08

Summit Fire

Summit Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: May 28, 2008 8:00 am
Date/Time Started: May 22, 2008 5:17 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Santa Clara and San Mateo & Santa Cruz Units
County: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties
Location: Summit Road and Maymen Flats
South of the town of Loma Prieta
Acres Burned: 4,270
Containment 100% contained - 4,270 acres
Control:Full control expected May 30, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
Structures Destroyed:31 residences; 63 outbuildings
Evacuations: Summit Fire Re-entry Information
Injuries: 12
Cause: Under Investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CCC, OES, United States Forest Service, CHP, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Sheriffs, National Guard, NOAA, CA State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, PG&E
Total Fire Personnel: 2,519
Fire crews: 91
Engines: 141
Airtankers: 3
Helicopters: 2
Dozers: 15
Water tenders: 33
Costs to date: $12.2 million
Major Incident Command Team: Incident Command Team #4
Conditions: Updated totals of structures destroyed resulted from completion of damage inspection. All road closures and evacuations have been lifted. Narrow roads, hot spots and hazard trees are safety concerns for residents allowed back into fire area today.

Download the latest Fact Sheet

Phone Numbers (408) 779-0930 (Summit Fire Information)

Source: CALFIRE Incident Report

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summit Fire Containment Expected Soon

Crews Aim For Full Containment Of Summit Fire


Cal Fire officials expecting containment of the Summit Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains by 6 p.m. will likely demobilize some of the 2,631 firefighters still on the scene, spokesman Chris Morgan said Tuesday morning.

The fire, burning since around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, has consumed an estimated 4,270 acres and injured seven firefighters, Morgan said.

The blaze was 85 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. With two days of cool weather anticipated, crews were hoping for full containment Tuesday evening followed by full control Friday, he said.

Morgan said 36 residences and 18 outbuildings have been destroyed, and 15 structures remained threatened Tuesday.

The estimated cost of fighting the Summit Fire has reached $11.2 million, Morgan said.

Cal Fire was considering demobilizing some firefighters Tuesday, and officials also were reevaluating opening Summit Road and Loma Prieta Avenue, according to Morgan. Mount Madonna County Park also remained closed Tuesday, and Cal Fire will determine if wreckage and fire-weakened trees in the area pose a threat, Morgan said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, although fire officials were able to pinpoint that the blaze began in an area where Summit Road becomes Loma Prieta Avenue at the Santa Clara-Santa Cruz counties border.

Source: CBS News

Summit Fire Update Tuesday 5/27/08

Summit Fire

Summit Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: May 27, 2008 6:00 am
Date/Time Started: May 22, 2008 5:17 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Santa Clara and San Mateo & Santa Cruz Units
County: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties
Location: Summit Road and Maymen Flats
South of the town of Loma Prieta
Acres Burned: 4,270
Containment 85% contained - 4,270 acres. Containment is expected today with currently assigned resources.
Structures Destroyed:36 residences; 18 outbuildings
Threatened: 15 residential
Evacuations: Summit Fire Re-entry Information
Injuries: 7
Cause: Under Investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, County, OES: Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, CHP, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Sheriffs, National Guard, NOAA, CA State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, PG&E
Total Fire Personnel: 2,631
Fire crews: 96
Engines: 171
Airtankers: 3
Helicopters: 7
Dozers: 24
Water tenders: 39
Costs to date: $11.20 million
Major Incident Command Team: Incident Command Team #4
Conditions: No fire spread is expected. Re-evaluation will be made this morning regarding lifting the closures of Summit and Loma Prieta Roads. Mt. Madonna Park remains closed. Rollout of burning material and fire-weakened trees continue to be concerns.

Wind: 5 mph
Temperature: 50
Wind direction: W
Humidity: 80%

Phone Numbers (408) 779-0930 (Summit Fire Information)

Source: CALFIRE Information 5/27/08

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summit Fire Update Monday 5/26/08

Summit Fire

Summit Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: May 26, 2008 6:00 am
Date/Time Started: May 22, 2008 5:17 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE
County: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties
Location: Summit Road and Maymen Flats
South of the town of Loma Prieta
Acres Burned: 3,970
Containment 70% contained - 3,970 acres
Structures Destroyed:36 residences; 18 outbuildings
Threatened: 100 residential
Evacuations: Evacuations remain in effect for the following roads in the Summit Road area of Santa Cruz County: Eureka Canyon, Ormsby Cutoff, Lower Highland, including Buzzard Lagoon, and Vaca De Sol. Evacuations remain in effect for the Santa Clara County Community of Sveadal and residents of McPhee Road. Control problems include establishing line in steep terrain and heavy, thick dead fuels.
Injuries: 5
Cause: Under investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, County, OES: Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, CHP, Sheriff: Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, National Guard, NOAA, CA State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, PG&E
Total Fire Personnel: 2,953
Fire crews: 97
Engines: 278
Airtankers: 3
Helicopters: 7
Dozers: 35
Water tenders: 47
Major Incident Command Team: Incident Command Team #4
Conditions: The fire continues to be slope and fuel driven on the Eastern flank of the fire. Minimal growth is expected today. safety concerns.

Temperature: 70
Wind Direction: NW
Wind Speed: 6-12 mph
Relative Humidity: 40-50%

Phone Numbers (408) 779-0930 (Summit Fire Information)

Here is a Link to the Perimeter Map of the fire

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:%2F%2Fcdfdata.fire.ca.gov%2Fincidents%2F2008_05_25_a_web_summit.kmz&ie=UTF8&z=12

Source: CALFIRE Incident Report 5/26/08

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Summit Fire 50% Contained

Summit fire 50 percent contained; nearly 3,900 acres burned

Firefighters said this morning that the Summit fire, which has destroyed 20 homes and 18 other structures, is 50 percent contained and there was no significant expansion overnight.

A total of 3,870 acres have burned since the blaze started Thursday morning off Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on its Web site.

Five injuries have been reported. Details were not immediately available.

"The fire made short runs during the night, but there was no significant fire expansion," the Cal Fire statement said. "There is still active fire burning within the fire's interior. With the low temperatures, high humidity, and relatively low wind, good progress made on containment is being made."

Evacuation orders for parts of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties remain in place today, the agency said.

Gusty winds Friday night and early Saturday pushed the fire northeast into Santa Clara County, prompting the early morning evacuation of about 50 homes near the historic Sveadal resort at the end of a narrow wooded canyon west of Morgan Hill.

The sudden shift in the direction of the fire triggered a declaration of emergency by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Firefighters on Saturday were hoping that the blaze, which consumed several hundred acres at the top of two Santa Clara County canyons, would not send embers and burning logs downhill and ignite homes....


Excerpt from Source: San Jose Mercury News

Summit Fire- New Evacs Ordered

SANTA CLARA CO.: MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ISSUED FOR SANTA CLARA COUNTY

The Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services today issued the county's first mandatory evacuations and road closures due to the Summit Fire after the blaze crossed over the Santa Cruz-Santa Clara county borders.

Approximately 50 residents in the area of Croy and McPhee roads near Morgan Hill north of the fire were forced to leave their homes today, the office of emergency services reported.

Five roads have been closed to the public as well. Hazel Dell Road was closed due to fire equipment access, Croy Road was closed to evacuate residents due to the fire's proximity and Eureka Canyon, Loma Prieta and Buzzard Lagoon roads were closed due to fire activity, according to the office of emergency services.

There is no estimated time when the roads will reopen or when residents can return to their homes.

The American Red Cross Santa Clara Valley Chapter opened a shelter for evacuees at Live Oak High School, located at 1505 East Main Ave. in Morgan Hill.

Food, water and mental health services are provided but the shelter cannot accommodate animals. Residents with questions about livestock and domestic pets may call the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter at (408) 686-3900.

For additional shelter information, residents may call the Red Cross at (408) 577-1000.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency for Santa Clara County today to ensure financial resources are available to fight the Summit Fire, which has burned more than 3,000 acres since Thursday morning.

The fire started in Santa Clara County but quickly burned into Santa Cruz County, where the majority of the blaze is located, according to Cal Fire. At about 1:30 a.m. today the fire returned to Santa Clara County, where it had burned about 100 acres by around 3 p.m.

The fire has burned 17 homes and 11 businesses and is threatening around 550 other homes. Cal Fire officials do not believe the flames will be contained until Friday.


Source: CBS News Sunday 12:01AM

Summit Fire

SANTA CLARA CO.: GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER ISSUES STATE OF EMERGENCY

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Santa Clara County today after a fire that has burned 3,400 acres crossed over the Santa Cruz-Santa Clara county border.

Schwarzenegger issued the proclamation to ensure that financial resources are available to crews so they can efficiently battle the Summit Fire, which began burning Thursday at 5:30 a.m. He issued a similar proclamation for Santa Cruz County on Thursday.

The fire began in Santa Clara County but quickly burned into Santa Cruz County, where the majority of the blaze is located, according to a Cal Fire spokesman. However, at about 1:30 a.m. today the fire returned to Santa Clara County, where it had burned about 100 acres by around 3 p.m.

After visiting the fire command center in Gilroy on Friday, Schwarzenegger thanked "the dedicated and hard working firefighters who are aggressively battling this blaze."

The fire has burned 17 homes and 11 businesses and is threatening around 550 other homes. Around 1,400 people in the area have voluntarily evacuated their homes while another 350 had mandatory evacuations. Cal Fire officials do not believe the flames will be contained until Friday.


Source:CBS News Saturday 10:20PM

Summit Fire Update 5-25-08

Here is a link to the current fire map from Google...

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2008_05_24_g_web_summit.kmz

Last Updated: May 25, 2008 6:30 am
Date/Time Started: May 22, 2008 5:17 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE
County: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties
Location: Summit Road and Maymen Flats
South of the town of Loma Prieta
Acres Burned: 3,870
Containment 50% contained - 3,870 acres
Structures Destroyed:20 residences; 18 commercial
Threatened: 550 residential; 20 commercial
Evacuations: Evacuations remain in effect for the Santa Clara County Community of Sveadal and residents of Mc Phee Road. Evacuations of all residents in the area of Eureka Canyon Road and Ormsby Cutoff Road, Lower Highland which include Buzzard Lagoon, and the Vaca De Sol area which are all in the Summit Road area of Santa Cruz County. Control problems include establishing line in steep terrain and heavy, thick dead fuels.
Injuries: 5
Cause: Under investigation
Cooperating Agencies: Cal Fire, County, OES: Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, CHP, Sheriff: Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, National Guard, NOAA, CA State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, PGE
Total Fire Personnel: 2,886 firefighters
Fire crews: 96
Engines: 278
Airtankers: 2
Helicopters: 13
Dozers: 35
Water tenders: 47
Major Incident Command Team: Incident Command Team #4
Conditions: The fire made short runs during the night. No signifigant fire expansion with active burning in the fire interior. Good progress made on containment. Significant amount of indirect line construction completed. Evacuations remain in place. Injury due to smoke inhalation with poison oak.

Temperature: 55
Wind Direction: SW-SE
Wind Speed: 5mph
Relative Humidity: 48%

Phone Numbers (408) 779-0930 (Summit Fire Information)

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Killed In Turlock Crash, Flames Create Chaos

TURLOCK -- A fatal van accident and a grass fire shut down Highway 99 for more than four hours Thursday, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded and emergency responders running between police, fire and medical calls into the early evening.

The chaos typified events across Stanislaus County, where 200 firefighters battled a wind-swept 100-acre wildfire near Knights Ferry, which closed a portion of Highway 108-120 for four hours, and emergency crews tended to about 25 other fires reported in the county.

On Highway 99, just after 2 p.m., a van crashed into a guardrail in the northbound lane near the Keyes Road exit. About a mile south, and minutes before, a grass fire started, threatening homes and businesses in and around the Monte Vista Crossings shopping area.

The fire destroyed many of the 30 vacant mobile homes in a storage yard on Taylor Road. About 100 people were evacuated from nearby businesses because of the flames, including the Best Western Orchard Inn on Taylor Road, El Rosal restaurant at Monte Vista Crossings shopping center and Suburban Propane on Golden State Boulevard.

While CHP and Turlock police tended to the van and a dozen fire agencies from across the county wrestled with the flames, ambulances responded to a domino effect of medical calls including:

· A woman, nine months pregnant, who went into labor in her car in the stalled southbound lane of Highway 99.

· An infant, also in a car on the highway, running a "severe fever," according to police.

· Several people who called 911 with smoke inhalation and other fire-related injuries.

· A woman who had a seizure in the Monte Vista Crossings area.

"Everything fell apart all at once," said CHP spokesman Tom Killian.

Witnesses told the CHP the van, which was carrying "eight or nine" people, was traveling northbound in the middle lane on Highway 99 "at a high rate of speed, 80 to 90 miles per hour," CHP officer Thomas Gowin said.

It moved to the left lane just as, according to a witness, an armored truck moved from the middle to left-hand lane, causing the van driver to slam on the brakes and sending the vehicle into a spin and into a guardrail, Gowin said.

Three people were ejected, and a woman died on the scene. Another was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to Memorial Medical Center. The California Highway Patrol did not release the names of the victims or occupants, all from San Leandro.

The fire started north of Taylor Road. It was bordered to the south at Monte Vista Crossings, west to the railroad tracks west of Highway 99, and east to the apartment complex next to Pitman High School.

A dozen agencies, led by Turlock City Fire, brought it under control about 5:30 p.m. Still, by 6:30, as firefighters were leaving the storage yard, rows and rows of mobile homes still were smoking, burned down to the blocks.

Toby Helton and Joseph Culwell were in their house, which sits in the middle of the storage yard, when they saw the flames.

"You couldn't even see outside," Helton said. "It was all smoke."

Flames also threatened Suburban Propane on Golden State Boulevard, along with several other businesses.

"The sales team watched it burn until it got close, then locked the doors and ran," said Randy Woods, owner of Woods Furniture. The flames came within feet of his Taylor Road store.

At one point, Highway 99 was closed from the Keyes Road exit to the West Main Street exit. More than 60 public safety workers, city workers and Caltrans employees mobilized to keep cars off that four miles of highway.

Some commuters spent upward of three hours in their vehicles, officials said. A caller to The Bee who said she got on the freeway in Modesto at 4:25 p.m. was inching southbound at Keyes more than two hours later.

Side streets in central Turlock were clogged as drivers fled Highway 99 and the fire's smoke. Drivers attempted to get to Modesto and back on Highway 99 by weaving through Santa Fe Avenue, Hatch Road or Yosemite Boulevard, driving through Empire and Hughson.

Wind wreaks havoc

The wind was a major factor in dozens of other grassfires throughout the region Thursday. Houk said recent dry weather and low humidity were the other factors that allowed the fires to get out of control Thursday.

In response to a series of grass fires Thursday morning, county officials formed a quick response task force of three fire engines, said deputy Royjindar Singh, an Office of Emergency Services spokesman.

The task force was centrally stationed in the Modesto area to respond quickly to any vegetation fire in the county with three engines. Singh said the task force was handling a fire in Ceres before it was deployed to the Knights Ferry blaze.

He said the task force was busy near Knights Ferry when the fire started near Turlock's Taylor Road.

Houk said the first fire engine assigned to tackle the blaze near Turlock was from a fire agency in Patterson, because everyone else was handling response calls.

"There were about three to four major incidents all around the same time," Houk said.

Gusts were recorded as high as 39 mph in Modesto. Gusts were recorded as high as 39 mph in Modesto.

Those winds helped drive a 20-acre grass fire at Mitchell Road and Highway 99. Ceres fire Battalion Chief Bryan Hunt said the call came in about 11 a.m. and crews left the scene about 1:45 p.m.

"The wind took a little road-side grass fire that usually would take one engine to handle and turned it into an eight- engine, two-hour grass fire," Hunt said.

Source:Modesto Bee News

Summit Fire Update 6am from CALFIRE

Summit Fire

Summit Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: May 23, 2008 6:00 am
Date/Time Started: May 22, 2008 5:17 am
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE
County: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties
Location: Summit Road and Maymen Flats
South of the town of Loma Prieta
Acres Burned: 3,100
Containment 20% contained - 3,100 acres
Threatened: 500 residential; 20 commercial
Evacuations: Evacuations of all residents in the Eureka Canyon Road area, Ormsby Cutoff Road and Summit Road area, Lower Highland area(Buzzard, Lagoon, Vaca De Sol-all in Santa Cruz County)
Injuries: 0
Cause: Under investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, County, OES, CHP, Sheriff
Total Fire Personnel: 500+ firefighters
Fire crews: 38
Engines: 164
Airtankers: 7
Helicopters: 11
Dozers: 31
Water tenders: 12
Major Incident Command Team: Incident Command Team #4
Conditions: Temperature: 58
Wind Direction: N
Wind Speed: 2 mph gusts
Relative Humidity: 40-50%
Phone Numbers (408) 779-0930 (Summit Fire Information)

175 Acres Scorced Near Knights Ferry

Fire Crews Continue To Fight Stanislaus County Blaze


Stanislaus County, CA -- At 12:15 this morning fire crews finally contained that 175 acre fire that started at the intersection of Friarmeyer Rd. and Morrison Rd. Thursday afternoon.

The fire was started when a tree fell on a drop line that provided power to a private residence.

According to CAL Fire Communication Operator Maryjo Boone in San Andreas one residence, an outbuilding, three vehicles and three trailers were destroyed. Hwy 120 was closed for approximately four hours with traffic being detoured to Orange Blossom Rd.

Thursday crews from Stanislaus, Tuolumne County, Oakdale Rural, Amador-El Dorado and Nevada-Yuba-Placer were all on site in addition to five aircraft. Today four engines, four crews and one chief officer are scheduled to be on site.


Source: MyMotherLode.Com

Esperanza Firefighter Honored

Part of Hwy. 243 honors Esperanza firefighters

Family members unveil a memorial sign near Highway 243 where firefighter victims of the Esperanza fire were honored. In the foreground are members of Engine Company 57 whose fellow workers were the victims. (Photograph for the Record Gazette by Cindy Watson)

The impact of the devastating Esperanza fire will last forever.

And the naming last week of a stretch of Highway 243 for five firefighters who perished in the 2006 fire will ensure they are never forgotten.

On May 9, officials and others, including families of the firefighters, gathered at the Silent Valley RV Club in Poppet Flats to rename a section of Highway 243, “Esperanza Firefighters Memorial Highway,” honoring the fallen heroes.

The mood of the dedication was captured by speaker Assemblyman John J. Benoit. “While the Esperanza Fire died out a year and a half ago, the memories and sacrifices of the five firefighters who perished that day will live forever,” Benoit, R-Bermuda Dunes, told the crowd. “Dedicating this highway will remind motorists along the route of the crew of Engine Company 57. We shall always remember the courage of our firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect us.”

The firefighters killed as a result of the Oct. 26, 2006 arson fire, which swept over their location in Twin Pines, were: U.S. Forest Service Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, of Engine Company 57; Jason McKay, Jess McClean, Daniel Hoover-Najera and Pablo Cerda. They were trying to save a home when the fire swept over them.

Four of the five families attended the dedication and, near the conclusion, they gathered together and unveiled the new Esperanza Firefighter Memorial Highway sign that honors their sons, fathers and brothers.


Among officials in attendance was Fire Chief Mike Dietrich, whose heartfelt words touched the emotions of onlookers. “We made a promise to commit to the healing ... to commit to re-manning Engine Company 57.” He then introduced new members of Company 57 to the crowd.

Calling Oct. 26 a “tragic” day, Dietrich said, “We must continue the relentless pursuit against domestic terrorism.”

A Beaumont man has been charged with arson and murder in the fire.

The dedicated section of Highway 243 runs for 30 miles between Banning and Mountain Center, and has memorials at each end. American Legion Palm Springs Post 519 provided $3,700 for the memorials.

Some of the 40,200 acres of the fire have given way this spring to new life.

Blackened remains of chaparral have made way for an extraordinary display of wildflowers along Highway 243 in the fire area. New abundant life has bloomed in shades of white, purple, blue, red and yellow.

The fire began at the San Gorgonio Wash in Cabazon at about 1 a.m. By the time it had run its course the fire had destroyed 34 homes, melting vehicles into the landscape where many still remain. The fire ran up the mountain through Twin Pines and into the Poppet Flats area. The fire burned areas along the cities of Banning and Beaumont to Highway 79.

Source: Record Gazette News

Tulare's Firefighter of the Year

The news he had been selected as Tulare Fire Department firefighter of the year came as a complete surprise to Capt. Ignacio Vasquez.

He said he didn't even know he was a nominee.

"Honestly, I didn't even have a clue," he said. "I was really surprised."

Following a department-wide open nomination and an e-mail-based runoff, Vasquez was selected as the annual award's third recipient.

Having been decided by peers and co-workers, the award carries extra meaning for Vasquez.

"These are the guys you sleep with, these are the guys eat with, these are the guy you respond to emergency situations with," he said of life in the firehouse. "They know your good sides and they know your bad sides."

For paramedic/firefighter Josh Ryan, Vasquez was the right choice.

"He's deserving of the award," Ryan said. "He's dedicated. He comes to work with a good attitude."

Ryan is the recently selected Tulare Firefighters Association president and has been on Vasquez's fire crew since January.

"He had been a mentor," Ryan said.

Vasquez was hired as a paramedic/firefighter in July 2002, promoted to engineer 18 months later and received the rank of captain in 2006.

Vasquez said he wanted a career as a firefighter because he wanted to help people in need.

"It's about helping people," he said. "To show up and have a positive impact when someone is having a difficult time, it makes you feel good inside. It's the feeling to help fellow man."

Despite the recent accolade, Vasquez said there were other worthy recipients.

"I know there are other co-workers who deserved this award," he said. "We work as a team."

Vasquez will receive a commemorative plaque at a May 30 ceremony, scheduled for 3 p.m. at the fire department's headquarters, 800 South Blackstone St. The ceremony is open to the public.

Also as part of the ceremony, Mike Saulque, who was recently promoted, will receive his engineer badge, five paramedics/firefighters, including Ryan, will be removed from probation status, and three cadets will graduate from the department's in-house academy.


Source: Visalia Times Delta News

Summit Fire 20% Contained

Friday Forecast Good News For Summit Fire

Fog Layer Could Help Ground Crews

Cal Fire officials based in Morgan Hill have reported that winds have died down, bringing hope that the Summit Fire may not spread as quickly in the early Friday morning hours.

Authorities said that crews burned some areas to set lines as protection so that the fire would not burn into
Santa Clara County.

A layer of fog about 2,000 feet deep moved into the area of the Summit Fire overnight, which created colder conditions that could make it tougher for the flames to spread.

"That makes it tough for air crews to drop flame retardant on the burn area, but easier for firefighters to work against the flames on the ground,"
Herrera said.

People in the
Santa Clara Valley reported smelling smoke from the fire Friday morning.

A group of 500 new firefighters will join the firefight Friday morning, CalFire Batallion Chief Mark Tolbert said. That brings the total number of firefighters battling the wildfire to 1,200.

Residents of about 1,400 homes were under evacuation orders -- 336 of them mandatory.

Late Thursday afternoon Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the
Santa Cruz Mountain fire zone a state of emergency. The governor's office said he planned not only to visit the staging area in Gilroy on Friday to get an update first hand, but that he might meet with firefighters and possibly travel somewhat close to the front lines.

The wildfire has burned at least 3,100 acres near Mount Madonna County Park about 10 miles west of Gilroy as of 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Fire officials on Thursday estimated the fire could spread to 10,000 acres before they can put it out. Officials said at 6 p.m. on Thursday that the fire was moving east and residents of Redwood Road should evacuate immediately.

About 400 homes in the Mount Madonna County Park area, specifically Buzzard Lagoon, Vaca del Sol and Lower Highlands neighborhoods, were evacuated or in the process by about 5 p.m., according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ken McGeever. There have been no reports of injuries.

The fire had periodically been traveling southwest toward the Pacific Ocean.

"I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the brave firefighters," the governor said. "As I've said many times before, we have the most courageous, talented and best trained firefighters in the world. They are doing a great job fighting the Summit Fire."

The fire started at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday off Summit Road near Loma Prieta Road in the Santa Cruz mountains. Officials do not know the cause of the fire yet. One resident, Kenneth Kim, said he smelled smoke and saw flames when he went to use an outhouse. He said he called 911 to report the fire.

Cal Fire reports at least 10 homes and two structures have been destroyed and another 50 homes are threatened.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ken McGeever said residents living in the path of the fire needed "to be prepared to evacuate in a moment's notice."

Two smaller fires, the Quail Hollow fire and the La Selva Beach fire, were contained.

Twelve people and 200 horses were being sheltered at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

Road closures were in effect at Quail Hollow at Glen Arbor Road, Poleline Road at Hwy. 152 and Corallitos Road at Varney Summit Road east of San Jose.

The fire is burning about seven miles east of Highway 17.

Cal Fire evacuated residents along Loma Prieta Road south to Corralitos Road.

Many of the evacuees gathered at the Corralitos Market throughout the day Thursday to wait for news of their homes.

Gray-black smoke filled the sky and was reportedly visible from as far as Richmond in the East Bay, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Morgan said.

In addition to ensuring residents evacuate, firefighters from Cal Fire and other fire agencies dropped retardant on the flames from air tankers and have brought in additional water supplies, according to Morgan.

Evacuation centers have been set up throughout the counties and the American Red Cross has responded to render aid, according to Morgan.

Evacuation Orders: At Least 120 Structures At:

· Upper Browns Valley Road and Avocado

· Hidden Canyon

· Hazel Dell Road

· Maymens Flat Road (at least one home destroyed there)

· Ornsby Cutoff Road

· Lower Highland

· Buzzard Lagoon

· Vaca Del Sol

· Nisene Marks Evacuated And Closed

Firefighters from most counties throughout the Bay Area have been sent to assist.

Some roads in the area are blocked. Summit Road at Mount Madonna Road is closed as well as Pole Line Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. Corralitos Road at Freedom is closed and Varney at Corralitos is also closed.

Dozens of homes and ranches are scattered throughout the mountainous area. Chopper11 showed several structures destroyed by the flames.

Wind gusts on the fire line reached 45 to 50 mph Thursday, making the fire harder to fight.

There is no estimated time for containment, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Morgan said.

About 170 students were evacuated Thursday morning from the Koinonia Conference Grounds, 1605 Eureka Canyon Road, in the Watsonville area.

Students from throughout Santa Cruz County who were participating in the outdoor science school were evacuated, said Pablo Dillon, guest services manager for the grounds.

Mount Madonna School on Summit Road on the border of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties also is closed due to the blaze.

All Pajaro Unified School District schools and four County Office of Education community school will be closed Friday.

Loma Prieta School and C.T. English schools were open Friday.


Source: NBC News

Summit Fire Update

State of emergency declared in Summit fire

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency this afternoon due to a 3,000-acre wildfire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"We are aggressively battling this fire from the onset. We are putting extra resources on this fire, and we will continue to mobilize and coordinate all the resources necessary to fight it," Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement...

Schwarzenegger took time from a roundtable meeting in Union City with presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Silicon Valley business leaders this morning to commend the firefighters battling the blaze.

Firefighters from most counties throughout the Bay Area have been sent to assist.

Some roads in the area are blocked. Summit Road at Mount Madonna Road is closed as well as Pole Line Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

There is no estimated time for containment. No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Excerpts from Source: Palo Alto Online

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summit Fire Update

Summit Fire threatens structures along Eureka Canyon Road
Modified: Thursday, May 22nd, 2008





Five to 10 structures had been destroyed by noon Thursday as the Summit Fire crept south along Eureka Canyon, burning up to 2,000 acres, Cal Fire reported.

Flames had begun traveling to the southwest toward Corralitos, working their way down Eureka Canyon Road, Cal Fire stated in a noon update.

The fire, which started around 5:30 a.m., began spreading with 50-mile-per-hour winds coming in heading to the south and southwest, Cal Fire reported.

Two evacuation sites have been set up, one on the north end of the fire at the Los Gatos Town Center and another on the south end at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Cal Fire stated. The Browns Valley Road area in Corralitos was being evacuated Thursday morning — a church in Corralitos was helping people, and many other residents were being sent to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds and Christmas Hill Park in the Gilroy area were becoming staging areas for Cal Fire, officials reported as they gathered at the fairgrounds.

Mandatory evacuations had begun by noon. One major evacuation area was Laurel Road off Highway 17 and Bald Mountain toward Hecker Pass, Cal Fire reported at noon.

To protect a residence, firefighters are advising homeowners to create 100 feet of clearance around the home and above the structure — but the major emphasis was to evacuate in the Eureka Canyon Road area and Ormsby Cutoff Road and Summit Road.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Marcucci said CDF expected 4,000 acres to be burned by the end of the day. By noon, he said there were eight air tankers, nine helicopters and about 900 personnel working on the fire.

"People really come out when it matters," said Steve Mouw, material support co-chair for the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County. Mouw and about 20 other volunteers planned to muster their forces at the fairgrounds as updates on the fire's advance came in. Mouw said the Red Cross can always use more volunteers and donations.

The last fire like this was the Los Gatos fire, the Lexington Fire, in 1985, Mouw said.

"I would expect people from Santa Clara County or Carmel Valley chapter to come here today," he said.

Area residents seem well equipped to deal with a wildfire, Mouw said.

"We live in earthquake country, we live in fire country, I think we're pretty aware," he said.

Source: Register Pajaronian News

Stuctures Burning In Summit Fire

Raging Fire Devours Santa Cruz Mountain Buildings

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) ― A wind-whipped wildfire burned at least 10 structures in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Thursday morning, prompting some mandatory evacuations off of Summit Road.

The blaze, first reported around 5:30 a.m., had grown to about 2,000 acres by 10:00 a.m. The flames sent a thick cloud of smoke into the air that could be seen from 19th Ave. in San Francisco.
The fire is in the mountain range that separates Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, and the rural area is dotted with homes. At least 90 homes were evacuated as a result of the blaze.

"Our main priority is evacuations, getting people out safely," said Chris Morgan, a state fire prevention specialist. "Then we can start working the perimeter of the fire."

In addition to ensuring residents evacuate, firefighters from Cal Fire and other fire agencies are dropping retardant on the flames from air tankers and have brought in additional water supplies, according to Morgan.

Fire officials said about 500 firefighters were on the scene, or enroute to help.

Evacuation centers have been set up throughout the counties and the American Red Cross has responded to render aid, according to Morgan. Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville was set up as the primary evacuation site for those ordered to leave there homes.

Residents with animals, including horses, may bring them to Sprig Lake on the east side of Hecker Pass Highway, Morgan said.

Wind gusts blowing southwest up to 40 mph were fueling the flames, said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Anderson.

"The major factor is just the winds at this point," Anderson said. "It will continue to fuel the fire as the winds continue to be breezy today."

The temperature near the top of a ridge that is 10 miles south of the where the fire is burning was 42 degrees at 9 a.m. and is forecasted about 60 degrees, while canyon areas are expected to be in the mid 60s, according to Anderson.

Summitt and Ormsby roads burned and there was no estimated time for containment, Cal Fire spokeswoman Colleen Baxter said.

Mount Madonna School on Summit Road on the border of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties was closed due to the blaze near Mount Madonna County Park.

C.T. English Middle School and Loma Prieta Elementary School in the Loma Prieta School District in Los Gatos also closed Thursday.

No injuries were reported, according to Baxter. Summitt Road at Mount Madonna Road was closed, as was Pole Line Road, and eureka canyon road according to the California Highway Patrol. Several other roadways in the area had been shut down, but Highway 17 remained open after 10 a.m.

Source Article: CBS News

CA-CZU-Summit IC - Wildland Fire - 1800+ acres

Update: 10:00hrs - Evacuation center at C.T. English Middle School in the Loma Prieta School District. - Staging has moved to Watsonville fairgrounds - Per IC fire at 1700-2000 acres potential for 4000 acres could go as high as
10,000 acres.
Update:
09:00hrs -1200+ Acres, Evacuations underway, making a run a Summit road,
priority is keeping it from crossing Summit. Assertion on Cmd1 that this will run through to the Santa Cruz valley floor. 360 Dove lane x Eureka rd requesting emergency. evacuation as they are trapped by the fire. S.O. was unable to get them out.
Update: 08:00hrs -1000+ acres no containment, Homes are currently involved, the
Vegetation fire is burning about seven miles east of Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is threatening more homes.
Initial call: 05:30 Grass fire near Highway 17 and Summit Road, started near the intersection of Summit and Loma Prieta roads, Ormsby road
Current sizeup:
500 acres, Rapid ROS,
Resources: Large wildland response, ST 9258G departing TGU for Santa Clara. Also TGU just tonedout Dozer ST 9261L (dozers 2542,2544) to Gilroy (Santa Clara). ST 9170c, 9140c, 9441c
Air resource orders: Tanker 910 has been requested.
- Copter order: total of 3x Type 1, 5x Type 2, 2x Type 3 for recon
- Tanker order: 3x Type 1, 4x Type 2
Location: Summit Rd in an area between Uvas County Park and Mount Madonna County Park, on the Santa Cruz County side of Summit Road. Loma Prieta peak, Mt Madonna Rd, off Summit Road near Loma Prieta Road in the Felton area of the Santa Cruz mountains. Near Mount Madonna County Park about 10 miles west of Gilroy.
Communications:
- Command: 1 / tone 9
- CZU local
- Air Tac 151.295
- Air Tac 151.280
- Air/Ground 151.22
- Tac 2 151.16
- White 2 [division ops]
- White 1 [incoming unit travel]
WUI: Numerous homes are threatened,
Evacuations: Evacuations underway - Sheriff's deputies from Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties are in the process of evacuating residents living in a three-mile stretch from Mount Madonna Road to Ormsby Cutoff Road, three schools, C.T. English Middle School, Loma Prieta Elementary School in Los Gatos and Mount Madonna School in Watsonville - both on Summit Road - were closed for the day
Staging area: @ Hwy 152 Summit Road @ Neiman Flats Staging has moved to Watsonville fairgrounds -
Fire behavior: Rapid Rate of Spread, Winds pushing fire east to Eureka Canyon
Road Closures: Summitt Road at Mount Madonna Road is closed. Pole Line Road is also closed, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Weather: Spot Forecast: "Gusterly" northern winds; morning N-NE with terrain
steering winds; changing to NW later; 20-30 MPH, gusts to 40+ in morning;
slowly decreasing to 15-20 MPH by afternoon, gusts to 30; conditions will
improve tomorrow
Webcam: http://www.narrowbandimaging.com/fpcam_page.htm

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CA-SCU-Singleton - Vegetation fire -

San Jose - Full Vegetation fire Response
Singleton IC - 17:28 - B 1613 reporting SJ FIRE 45 minutes into it already
Sizeup:
Location: City of San Jose Capital Corridor East / Cross of Tures Road
Communications:
CDF TAC 2
SJ COMMAND 3
Ground Resources: CAL FIRE-
Captain 1631
Engine 1661
Engine 1662
Engine 1663
Engine 1673
Engine 1764 from CZU Unit
Air Resources: Copter 106
2 Crews on Order

Fresno: Eight acres - One resident died defending home

Eight acre Wildfire burns home - 1 Resident died - 1 structure destroyed

The fire broke out near Herndon and Thompson around 5:30pm Tuesday evening and quickly turned deadly.

An elderly man who lived here died trying to save the home he's lived in since about 1963. The home is now just a pile of ashes and debris.

Whipping winds kicked up the flames fast. "When you have 25, 30 mile and hour winds it happens very quickly. They could see a smoke and the next minute it's at the back door," said Fresno County Fire Chief Keith Larkin.

It must've happened within seconds. Fire crews who arrived to initially battle a grass fire, found homes in the area in the path of the vicious flames. Torching tall palm trees and reducing cars to metal shells.

One resident died trying to douse his property. Several others were hurt during the fire.

Nain Young rushed down to the burned home Tuesday evening to offer her neighbors a place to stay for the night. She had no idea one of them died trying to save their home. "I really feel badly about that. I'm sorry it happened. You know you never know what the future brings and I'm sure they didn't expect that so it's a very sad situation in my book," said Young.

Neighbors say the victim was outside his home when he was found but his wife was rescued and treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire destroyed one home and burned close to 8 acres. Fire officials say the cause is human, likely a weed eater that sparked the blaze.

Source article: ABC30 - Link

News: Body of a man went undiscovered after fire

Body found two months after fire

The body of a man apparently killed in a March 5 mobile home fire in Madera County went un

discovered until Tuesday, when sheriff's investigators following up on a missing-person report found it in the living room area.

A man who lived in the home hasn't been seen since the March 5 fire, but investigators said Tuesday they aren't yet sure whose body they found.

"We can't identify him until we've done DNA and dental records," Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Erica Stuart said Tuesday.

Investigators from the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit were dispatched to the burned home on Avenue 13 1/4 near Road 28 1/2 after Madera County sheriff's investigators found the body.

Authorities did not identify the missing resident. Family members reported him missing after the fire, but no trace of the man was found, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Karen Guillemin.

The body found Tuesday was burned beyond recognition, Guillemin said. Cal Fire investigators are trying to determine why firefighters did not find the body on March 5.

A neighbor said Tuesday that he had told firefighters a man might be inside, because the man's shopping cart was in front of the mobile home. The man was losing his vision and often pushed a shopping cart around the area, neighbor Wayne Noel said.

"I knew him as Ed," he said. "I saw him that morning. He was down the road with his shopping cart."

The man lived alone, Noel said.

Source: Fresno Bee - Article Link
Tags: Cal Fire, Madera County, Sheriff's Department, Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit

CA-NEU-DEL - Wildland fire - Nevada County

Location: Wildland fire in Penn Valley area of Nevada County.
DEL IC -
Sizeup: 1 outbuilding destroyed with multiple structure threats.
Fire behavior: Reported spotting 1/2 mile ahead of the fire, Multiple spot fires
Ground Resources: IC has ordered Type III Local Gov't Strike Team and Type III CalFire Strike team code 3 to the fire.
10 engines - 1 Strike Team Local Gov engines
3 hand crews
2 dozer transports
2 water tenders
Air Resources:
1 AA
2 AT
On order:
Also 2 additional A/T.
1 Strike Team CalFire

CA-AEU-Crazy - vegetation fire - 1-2 acres

CA-AEU-Crazy vegetation fire
Location:
Crazy IC - 1-2 acres per IC.
Sizeup: Power lines down, 1 acres, light fuels, slow ROS. Located in Cameron Park at Crazy Horse Road and Flying C Road. Tac 9
Resources:
WUI: El Dorado Sheriff Office is reporting no structures threatened and no evacuations ordered.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CA-FKU-Avocado - 2,000 acres - 60%

Avocado Lake Vegetation fire

Update: 12:00 5-21 - 2000 acres - 60% - Expected to be contained by 2200 hours today
Personnel at scene: 434
WUI: 5 Structures and 5 outbuildings remain threatened
Notes: Line to build-1 mile, Fire spotted 1000 feet outside the line late last night and went 2 acres, No additional resource needs at this time
Weather: If weather cooperates, the fire is expected to be contained by 2200 this evening, however, if the winds do come up there is a chance that it will jump the lines. This remains as the major control problem for this operational period.

Update: 10:00 5-21 - 2000+ acres - 40% - Full containment expected by 18:00hrs today: The National Weather Service says wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour are expected throughout the day.

Update: 08:53 5-21 - 2000+ acres - 25% - Full containment expected by 18:00hrs today:
Injury: One firefighter had to leave the site because of a possible serious knee injury suffered while walking on the steep and rocky terrain.
GACC News and Notes: 08:00 -Avocado (CA-FKU-005963), near Avocado Lake on Tivy Mountain (Fresno Co.). Fire has burned 2,000 acres of tall grass and is 25 percent contained.This incident was a wind driven fire with low humidities and is inaccessible to engines. Winds have diminished assisting ground resources in containment progress as the fire changes from wind-driven to fuels/slope-driven at slower rates of spread. An evacuation warning for 20 residences has been lifted.

News story with video - kmph.com link: One property owner watching his own land burn, hoped the flames would stay put on his land. "If it jumps this ridge, Wonder Valley is in trouble, a lot of homes there. So you protect the homes, you don't worry about my range land," said property owner Pete Filippi.

Update: 2053 hrs - All evacuation notices have been lifted, per Incident Command
Update:
19:30hrs -Avocado Fire - Fresno County: 2,000 acres 15% contained
Structures threatened
- Fire is expected to slow with sundown and lessening of wind, fire is expected to become terrain driven at that point
Control problems continue to be the weather; single digit RH and winds in the 20's, and much of the terrain is inaccessible to engines
Fire is burning mainly in grass with 100 chains to tie in
Update: 15:15hrs - AA updates over 1000+ acres immediate structure threat, heavy spotting and very active burning ( fire is on the South slope )
20+ homes threatened, Request 2 Type1 ST Immediate need for Structure Protection
and 2 more Type 3 ST code three to the fire
Location: Vegetation Fire in FKU (Fresno County), -Avocado Lake on Tivy Mountain , Foothills east of the community of Piedra, access is off Piedro Rd.
WUI: Immediate threat to 15 homes.
Date Started:
May 20, 2008 3:10 pm
Sizeup:
Heavy Powerlines at the heel of the fire in, Structure Threat, with strong winds
IC: Avocado IC (4320)
Staging Area: Piedra Rd and Crawford Rd - All incoming resources respond and come in off HWY 180 / Crawford RD
Fire behavior:
Twenty-mile-an-hour winds are driving the fire east toward a heavily sloped area.
WUI: Structure protection groups have been dispatched to protect another 15 homes about a mile ahead of the main fire.
Problems: High winds are hampering fire crews' efforts, AA reports spotting problems
Fuels: light fuels, brush and scrub oak
Resources: 270+ firefighters, BC 4608, Engines 86, 84, 77, 4361, 4363, 4373, 4360, 4391, 4151, 4152, 4181, 4665,4666,4664 and 4660 as strike team 9460 C
Miramonte Crews 1, 2, 3, 4,
dozer Transports - 4340, 4143, 4245, 4643 and 4645, water tenders - WT 86
Safety Officer is 4306
Division Officer 4303
Air Resources: AA - 410
ATs - 20, 76, 81, 82, 48 out of fox
Helicopter 406, 404,
Aircraft are using Fresno AB and Porterville AB for reloading.
Communications:
FKU Local 151.385
Air 151.310
TAC 7 151.340
Air / Grnd 151.220
Resource orders: IC just request an additional Type 3 ST of engines-
and additional ST dozers - IC just requested 2 additional dozers, 1 additional ST of type 3 engines, 4 additional Crews, Res. order 2 more type 2 doz, st of type 3's and 4 more crews.
Evacuation: ADVISORY evacuation order
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Frenso-Kings Unit
Information Phone Numbers: (559) 292-2371 (Avocado Fire Information)

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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