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November 28, 2020

CZU Complex now state’s 9th-most destructive fire ever recorded

SCOTTS VALLEY—The CZU August Lightning Complex has destroyed 1,483 structures as of Tuesday morning, making it the ninth-most destructive fire ever recorded in the state.

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The majority of those structures are single-family homes in the Santa Cruz mountain towns of Boulder Creek and Bonny Doon, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze has chewed through 85,218 acres and is now 43% contained. Cal Fire has not yet determined a date in which it will be completely contained.

Some 6,700 structures are still in danger and roughly 35,000 residents remain evacuated.

Ben Lomond residents on Sunday were allowed to return home.

Rosemary Anderson, the emergency services manager for the County of Santa Cruz, during a Monday evening press conference announced that the county would consolidate its shelters to these four sites: the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, the Seventh Day Adventist Camp, Harbor High School and Simpkins Swim Center.

Monday’s press conference was the final daily informational briefing. Local Cal Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Cox said future press conferences will be held as they are needed.

The County on Saturday opened the Kaiser Permanente Arena—the home of the Golden State Warriors’ development-league affiliate—as a resource center where county residents impacted by the fire can find assistance from federal, state and local agencies and various nonprofits. That center at 140 Front St. in Santa Cruz is open daily from 11am to 7pm.

Anderson said they had close to 900 evacuees pass through the center over the weekend.

Residents and business owners impacted by any California wildfire are also urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration to receive federal disaster assistance.

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Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.

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