Aug. 24, 2020 - CZU Lightning Complex: What You Need to Know
Updates as of noon, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020:
The fire grew to 78,000 acres across portions of southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Cruz County with 13 percent containment as of this morning.
Approximately 77,000 people have been evacuated from an area roughly bounded by Highway 84 to the north, Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) to the east and Highway 17 to the south.
A total of 231 structures have been destroyed across both counties. Approximately 24,300 structures remain threatened.
A Red Flag Warning previously issued for the coastal region by the National Weather Service has been lifted.
While many evacuees are eager to return to their homes to assess damage, Jonathan Cox, a CalFire deputy chief, asks for “a lot of patience.” Cox said the evacuation zone is extremely dangerous in areas where fire is no longer active due to charred trees, burned-out bridges, hazardous waste and risks.
For instance, the bridge over Gazos Creek is being assessed for safety by crews from San Mateo County Parks and the Department of Public Works. It is currently unsafe to cross, and officials remind the public never to drive across a bridge following a wildfire until it has been inspected and cleared by professionals.
Six people required emergency rescue over the weekend as they sought to return to their property in the fire zone without authorization. This depleted resources that could otherwise have been focusing on firefighting and other public safety priorities.
For information about the County of San Mateo’s response as well as evacuation zone maps, go to https://www.smcgov.org/smc-wildfire-response
Federal Approval of California Disaster Declaration
President Trump over the weekend declared a major disaster exists in California due to the wildfires, making the County of San Mateo eligible for federal funding assistance.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans and additional programs to help individuals and business owners.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Care and Shelter
The County of San Mateo has established two evacuation centers:
- Half Moon Bay High School, 1 Lewis Foster Dr, Half Moon Bay
- San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo
New, unopened donations of diapers, baby formula and school supplies will be accepted starting today through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the San Mateo County Event Center, Expo Hall, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo.
For school supplies, day backs, pens, highlighters, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, markers and clipboards as well as small bottles of hand sanitizer are needed.
No other donations are being accepted as this time at any location.
The situation is fluid and, while we appreciate interest in donating, we are not equipped to accept, sort and distribute donations beyond what is requested at this time.
Financial donations can be sent to Puente or the Red Cross. Donation Links:
Animal Care: Donations Needed
Evacuated large farm animals are being accepted at the Cow Palace in Daly City. For information and assistance, call the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group at 650-450-0520 or visit https://smclaeg.org/
Farm animals that have not been evacuated yet are being fed and cared for by the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group.
The Peninsula Humane Society is accepting donations of pet food, cat litter and newspapers at its Coyote Point Shelter location, 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94401 and financial donations online at https://phs-spca.org/donateonline
To donate to the Cow Palace Livestock Evacuation Center, visit www.cowpalace.com for a list of needs.
To help feed and support animals evacuated by the San Mateo County Lage Animal Evacuation Group, go to www.smclaeg.org and click on the Volunteer Now button.
Donate feed and supplies to support the large animal evacuees at HMB Feed & Fuel, 331 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA ; 650-726-4814. Financial donations can be made online at https://smclaeg.org
Public safety official continue to ask the public to avoid the San Mateo County coast to keep roadways clear for first responders and evacuees.
Major roadways across southern San Mateo County west of Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) are closed. The list includes:
- Highway 84 west of Highway 35 (the “four corners” intersection)
- Highway 35 south of Highway 84
- Highway 1 between Rossi Road and Año Nuevo
- Sections of Alpine Road, Pescadero Creek Road, Whitehouse Canyon Road, Cloverdale Road and other local roads
A full list of closures is at: https://www.smcgov.org/smc-wildfire-response
Additional road closures may occur at any time due to emergency needs.
San Mateo County Parks ClosedAll San
Mateo County Parks remain closed until further notice as park rangers are supporting firefighting efforts. Coyote Point Marina tenants will have access to boats. Please support everyone's efforts by respecting closures at park entrances and trail heads. Read the news release.
Additional Information and Resources:
To find the most current evacuation map, go to https://arcg.is/PSSv10
Sign up for CalFire email updates at https://tinyurl.com/czulightning
Stay up-to date on air conditions at https://www.airnow.gov/
CALFire CZU San Mateo–Santa Cruz Unit Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/CALFIRECZU
Sign up for SMC Alerts at www.smcalert.info
Connect with the County of San Mateo on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CountyofSanMateo
Follow the County of San Mateo on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sanmateoco