Santa Cruz is on Fire
After high winds, thunder, and lightning pounded Santa Cruz in the middle of the night last Saturday night, the lightning strikes generated from that storm created a number of wildfires in the Santa Cruz mountains, which have combined into a raging inferno that has burned nearly 50,000 acres already across both Santa Cruz and Santa Mateo counties. Bonny Doon was evacuated and heavily hit by the fire. Big Basin State Park was also heavily hit, with the fire destroying most of the park’s buildings and infrastructure. The towns of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Felton, as well as parts of Scotts Valley were under mandatory evacuation orders as of Thursday night.
Nearly a thousand firefighters are currently fighting what’s being called the “CZU Lightning Complex”. At a press conference on Thursday night, CalFire said more than 50 structures have burned and nearly 21,000 structures are currently threatened. Nearly 50,000 people in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties have been ordered to evacuate and leave. Helicopters have mostly not been able to do fire retardant drops because the smoke is so thick.
Thank you to all the firefighters and first responders and public safety people who are out in the thick of this. It’s bad enough to be dealing with the constantly shifting challenges of a global pandemic and then we get hit with this. Pull together and help each other out here. Put aside political differences and see each other for what we are, neighbors in need of each other. We are better and stronger when we work together. I know so many people want to try to help but please try to stay off the roads right now and leave them open for emergency vehicles and people evacuating. If you want to help, check on your neighbors who may be alone and vulnerable. To all the folks from Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Felton, Scotts Valley, and everywhere in between who had to leave their homes, we are here for you. We will all get though this together. You are in our thoughts and hearts and we will take care of you. And everyone please help the wildlife by leaving out water for them.
Current Evacuation Orders in Santa Cruz County:
- Waterman Gap Loop, Upper HWY 236, Boulder Creek Golf Course, Heartwood Hill, Lodge Road, Community of Little Basin, Lower China Grade, Upper China Grade, Community of Kings Hwy, Lower Jamison Creek, Gallion Heights, Fallen Leaf Neighborhood, Foxglove Lane (Zones CRZ10, CRZ13, BOU36, BOU20, BOU30, BOU31, BOU36, BOU37, BOU21)
- Saratoga Toll Road, San Lorenzo Park, Riverside Grove-Community of Teilh Drive, Wildwood Road (BOU38, BOU39, BOU40, BOU41, BOU42, BOU43)
- Everyone on Empire Grade Road, from Felton Empire north, all of Pine Flat Road, all of Ice Cream Grade, Bonny Doon Road, in between Pine Flat Road, Martin Road, and all associated side streets are under an evacuation order. (CRZ1, CRZ2, CRZ3, CRZ4, CRZ5, CRZ10, CRZ11, CRZ12, CRZ13, CRZ14, CRZ15)
- Bonny Doon south of Ice Cream Grade, to include Pine Flat Road South is now under an evacuation order.
- Areas of Alba Road, Hubbard Gulch and Fanning Grade (Zone BEN 1)
- Vicinity of Davenport south to the city limits. This includes Davenport, Davenport Landing and Coast Road.
- Ben Lomond
- All areas of Felton, this includes all FEL Zones. (Zones: FEL 1, FEL 2, FEL 3, FEL 4, FEL 5, FEL 6)
- The area of Zayante Canyon, all ZAY Zones. (Zones: ZAY 1- ZAY 17)
- Scotts Valley area west of Highway 17
- All Scott’s Valley residents West of State Route 17 (Zones: SCO 1-5, SCO 7, SCO 14-20 SCO 21 – SCO 25)
- The Santa Cruz County area east of Zayante Canyon, west of State Route 17 and south of State Route 35 (Zones: CRZ 18, CRZ 19, CRZ 20)
- University of California Santa Cruz, campus only (Zone: SCZ 4)
- Paradise Park (Zones: CRZ 63, CRZ 64)
Evacuation centers have been set up at the following locations:
- Santa Cruz County Fairground, 2601 E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville.
- Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz
- Santa Cruz Seventh Day Adventist Camp Grounds, 1931 Soquel San Jose Rd
- Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick St., Santa Cruz. Room for 76 evacuees as well as parking.
Congregational Church of Soquel (parking only), 4951 Soquel Dr., Soquel. Bathrooms available for evacuees.
- Twin Lakes Church (parking only), 2701 Cabrillo College Dr., Aptos. Up to 50 cars and RV’s, bathrooms, water and food available.
- Cabrillo College Lot K (parking only), 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos
For help with animal evacuations, contact the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter at 831-471-1182. Evacuation site for the county and livestock is Watsonville County Fairgrounds. Call to confirm space if needed.
- If you are in need of transportation to an evacuation center or other safe destination, contact Lift Line at 831-688-9663
- For those needing help to find accommodations due to the fires, contact the Red Cross at 866-272-2237 or call 211
- CAL Fire’s Public Information Office is available to provide updates by calling 831-335-6717
- Click here to view the county’s fire and evacuation map
- Click here to view the county’s fire and evacuation map
- Shelters are open to county residents. Pets are welcome under the owner’s control.
- For animal evacuation assistance: Call 831-471-1182
- Human Services benefits hotline: Call 1-888-421-8080
- List yourself as “safe and well” at the Red Cross’ website: redcross.org/safeandwell
Santa Cruz County Closes Beaches For Labor Day Weekend
On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors announced the closures of all beaches across Santa Cruz County over Labor Day weekend, starting at 5AM on Saturday and ending at 5PM on Monday. Water activities will still be allowed during the closure. From 4 to 8PM on Saturday and Sunday, the beaches will be open to the public. The county is calling it a “sunset provision”. Santa Cruz law enforcement say they will add extra patrols for the holiday weekend. This closure includes all jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County.
Santa Cruz Murder Suspects Arrested
Last Friday, Santa Cruz Police Detectives arrested two 24 year old men and charged them with the recent murder of a man in broad daylight on the west side of Santa Cruz about 3 weeks ago. Both men were local and from Santa Cruz. Search warrants were served at several locations and evidence was collected for the investigation before both men were booked at the Santa Cruz County Jail for murder and other related charges. The recent murder happened on Tuesday, July 28th. Officers and first responders were dispatched to a victim of a shooting on Mission Street and when they arrived, they found a 28 year old victim suffering from a gunshot wound sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle. The victim died at the hospital. Further investigation determined the shooting occurred at the intersection of Mission Street and Fair Avenue.
One of the men was arrested and charged with four felonies back in January of this year, but we all know that’s enough to keep you in jail in Santa Cruz.
When Will We Start Taking This Seriously?
California. When are you going to start taking sexual crimes against women seriously? This week a guy was charged with felonious sexual battery on an unconscious person (basically raping someone passed out) and his bail was set at $5k. This is how “progressive” policies protect women in California. The inmates run the asylum here.
Getting Kicked in the Brass Balls
Monday night Around 8:30PM, Santa Cruz Police noticed a suspicious vehicle parked oddly near the railroad tracks by Shaffer Road whose registration tags had expired in 2016. A search of the truck revealed several high capacity rifle magazines. A search of the 46 year old driver, who was a felon, revealed a loaded handgun in his pants, along with heroin and meth. He was charged with drug possession, being a felon in possession of a gun, carrying a loaded firearm in public illegally, and having brass knuckles. His bail was set at $25K and last check he’s still jail.
You’d think being a car thief and resisting arrest might be a reason to set bail at more than one cent. But here we are. A 36 year old male was arrested on Monday, charged with those two felonies, and his bail was set at one cent. I hope he’s not penniless. Penny Lane the jail it boots another customer. We see the sheriff sitting waiting for a trend. And then the judges they come rushing in. From the COVID strain. Very strange!
Downtown Robbery Suspect Arrested
Sunday morning around 9AM, Santa Cruz Police responded to the 200 block of Laurel Street where they arrested a 24 year old woman and charged her with robbery. She was arrested twice in 3 days this past May. Last check she was still in county jail on a $50K bond.
Aptos Assault Suspect Arrested
Last Friday around midnight, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 100 block of Aptos beach Road for a disturbance involving a 40 year old male. He was eventually arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, and battery and his bail was set at $25K. Last check he’s still in county jail. He’s been arrested at least 5 times since 2017.
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