Central Coast Wildfires: Updates & Resources

Indian Springs residents watch the River Fire burn on Tuesday, August 18.
Credit Dave Beck

NOTE: AS OF EARLY OCTOBER 2020, THIS PAGE IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED.

Those affected by wildfires can apply for disaster assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app or calling (800) 621-3362.

Find our related story coverage below:

 

Kevin Cooper

The rainy season is upon us here in the Monterey Bay area and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season will be accompanied with a significant risk of debris flows. KAZU News reports on the many local communities at risk.

Michelle Loxton

Wildfires can have a lasting impact on the natural environment. New life can sprout from the ashes, but some things are lost forever. To understand the long-term impacts on the Monterey Bay area, we studied three examples: a beloved park, almost extinct birds and some famous trees.

Hannah Hagemann

When wildfire strikes, water infrastructure that’s made out of plastic is particularly at risk of contamination. If pipes and tanks lose pressure, or get hot, chemicals can leach into the water supply.

Season Of Change In Many Ways

Sep 18, 2020
Doug McKnight

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.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill allowing inmate firefighters to have their records expunged, clearing the path for them to be eligible for firefighting jobs upon release.

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.

Hannah Hagemann

A small crew of firefighters pack into a red fire engine and barrel up a road west of Brookdale in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They’re on mop up duty; scouting for new sources of smoke, looking for burned trees and any hot spots that could reignite the blaze.

With precision, farm workers swiftly harvest rows of strawberries at an organic field in Salinas, Calif. It's hard work, even without a global pandemic and wildfires burning in the background.

Four major wildfires erupted across the state's Central Coast in mid-August, one near Salinas. Smoke blanketed the region, the sun glowed orange and ash rained down.

"It hurt our sinuses," said Jesús Ahumada, an agricultural foreman, in Spanish. "The smoke was so thick."

Not Your Typical Monterey Bay Labor Day Weekend

Sep 4, 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.

Hannah Hagemann

When the CZU Lightning Complex Fire ripped through northern Santa Cruz County and mandatory evacuations were triggered, a patchwork of people in Bonny Doon assembled to fight the blaze. They defied orders to defend their neighborhoods.

A Turning Point For Central Coast Wildfires

Aug 28, 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.

Natalia Jessen Fleschig.

 


Emotionally spent! That’s what many residents say they’re feeling now, after days of wildfires burning across the Central Coast. Some have fled their homes after being told to "leave now." Others had to anxiously wait to see if they would be ordered to evacuate. And then there’s those who defied evacuation orders in hopes of defending their properties.    

 

Erika Mahoney

With sheer precision, a farm worker harvests a row of strawberries. He tosses the bruised berries that won’t sell on the ground, the others into plastic packaging. It’s hard work, even without a pandemic and wildfires. 

 

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.

Red Cross

 


Not so long ago, people were told to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, thousands have been told to leave as multiple wildfires burn across the Central Coast. And because of COVID-19, emergency operations have also had to evolve. 

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 is no longer being updated. It includes resources for those affected by the Carmel Fire.

The Carmel Fire broke out on August 18, 2020 and burned 6,905 acres. It was fully contained on September 4, 2020. 

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 is no longer being updated. It includes resources for communities affected by the CZU Lightning Complex.

The CZU Lightning Complex fire broke out on August 16, 2020 and burned over 86,500 acres. Firefighters fully contained the blaze on September 22, 2020.

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 is no longer being updated. It includes resources for those affected by the River Fire. 

The River Fire broke out on August 16, 2020 and burned 48,088 acres. Firefighters fully contained the fire on September 4, 2020.

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