California Wildfires

Orange Skies And Other Stories

Sep 11, 2020
Erika Mahoney.

Welcome to KAZU's weekly news roundup where you'll find the top local stories of the week and a few select national stories from NPR.

Steve Palumbi


Wildfire season is off to a record-breaking start in California, and the recovery will be a long process, especially for the hundreds of people on the Central Coast and throughout the state who have lost their homes.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz evacuees
Hannah Hagemann

Progress is being made on the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. The fire is now 19% percent contained after burning over 80,100 acres, as of Wednesday morning. KAZU’s Hannah Hagemann is covering the fire, which has burned over 520 structures in Santa Cruz County so far. She spoke with KAZU’s Doug McKnight on Tuesday.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz
CHP Santa Cruz

Wildfires have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate across the Central Coast. Law enforcement officers are working overtime to protect the homes and businesses they left behind. In hard hit Santa Cruz County, looting has led multiple arrests.

Carmel Fire—In Carmel Valley

Aug 22, 2020
SPCA Monterey County

Back to Wildfires: Updates & Resources page

This page includes resources for those affected by the Carmel Fire.

The Carmel Fire broke out on August 18. It is fully contained. 

CZU Lightning Complex Fire—Santa Cruz County

Aug 22, 2020
CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz
Cal Fire

Back to Wildfires: Updates & Resources page

This page includes resources for communities affected by the CZU Lightning Complex.

The CZU Lightning Complex Fire broke out on August 16 and burned over 86,500 acres. Firefighters fully contained the blaze on Tuesday, September 22.

The fire destroyed over 900 homes in Santa Cruz County and over a dozen in San Mateo County.

River Fire—Near Salinas

Aug 22, 2020
River Fire Salinas California
Dave Beck

Back to Wildfires: Updates & Resources page

This page includes resources for those affected by the River Fire.

The River Fire broke out on August 16. It  has been fully contained.

Dolan Fire—Big Sur

Aug 22, 2020
Dolan Fire Big Sur California
Jeff Gillentte / A firefighter from Pennsylvania monitors the Dolan Fire

Back to Wildfires: Updates & Resources page

This page includes resources for those affected by the Dolan Fire. 

The Dolan Fire is burning south of Big Sur and into the Ventana Wilderness. It broke out on August 18 and has burned over 124,000 acres.

For the latest information on fire activity, size and containment, see the Los Padres National Forest Service incident page.

Santa Lucia Conservancy


Wildfire season is very much upon us here in California. So far this year, CAL FIRE has responded to over 3,900 fires, which have burned over 34,000 acres. Managers of a small preserve in Carmel are hoping to change the way communities approach wildfires across the state by instead focusing on wildfire management and mimicry. 


Erika Mahoney


The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has been hosting a series of wildfire safety meetings across the state this summer. On Thursday night, the company met with Monterey County customers.


Michelle Loxton

This wildfire season you need to be ready for power outages. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is calling these outages “Public Safety Power Shutoffs.”

Erika Mahoney

Winter rain created lush green hillsides across California. Soon, summer heat will dry out this growth, creating fuel for wildfire. To prepare, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered fire prevention work in vulnerable communities across the state.

Erika Mahoney

Firefighters are slowly getting the upper hand on the Bear Fire burning east of Boulder Creek. At 320 acres, it's now 30-percent contained. Some evacuation orders have been lifted, but 300 homes are still threatened. KAZU got a first-hand look at the damage.

Erika Mahoney



CalFire continues fighting a wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Called the Bear Fire, it's burning in steep terrain that’s hard to access. So attacking the fire from the air has been crucial.