Nearly 3,900 acres and 20 homes have been destroyed. The cost of the fire grew to $6 million. Despite the progress, residents learned they will not be allowed to return home for at least several more days.
The latest estimate is that it will take two to three days before residents are allowed back to their homes and that is barring any drastic change in the weather. The reason for the delay is simple because the fire is still creeping up alongside of the mountain. There are narrow roads clogged with firefighters and officials don't want to bring everybody back and have the fire jump a line and have to evacuate all over again.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff broke the news as gently as possible and says it will be days before many people are allowed back into their homes for good.
"Eureka Canyon could be a couple days or three days. That's because there still are active plumes of smoke up there and firefighters are still fighting it," says Sheriff Steve Robins.
An overflow crowd filled Corallitos Community Church for a briefing. They didn't all leave with the all clear they were hoping for.
"I wanted to hear 'tonight'. Just basically staying with friends, trying to keep our son occupied and just trying to get by," says fire evacuee Bredette Dyer
The Sheriff has been letting some people to check on their property to get necessities but not to settle back in.
"We're okay, our water lines are melted, about 30 to 40 houses are directly related to those water lines. When they get them up and running they'll have ash and fire retardant in our water. But the firefighters did an amazing job, it was a bubble over our home. Thank god," says fire evacuee Tiffany Wolters.
One fire official says that things are looking good, but the mop up could take weeks and officials said that some areas will probably smolder until the autumn rains.
CAL FIRE says the fire is at 25 percent containment.
The fire is currently burning in a four-mile stretch in Eureka Canyon, near the town of Corralitos.
It is burning in the mountain range that separates Santa Cruz County from Santa Clara County about 40 miles south of downtown San Jose and about 10 miles west of Gilroy.
The fire began at 5:30 Thursday morning. Some 1,000 acres burned by 9:00 a.m. and by noon the fire had exploded to over 3,200 acres.
The fire was first reported near Summit and Ormsby roads and is in the mountain range that separates Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
The Bay Area Air Quality management says that a smoke advisory will remain in effect until the fire is extinguished. People in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties are advised to stay indoors, if they step outside and smell smoke. They're also asked to try to avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
Friday night Updates:
An injured firefighter will be transported by a ground ambulance away from the fireline and airlifted out of the area. He had chest pains and suffered from fatigue. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening. >> Video: One firefighter was injured late Friday evening
Fire jumps fireline and firefighters fight spot fires in places where the fire has already passed.
>> Video: Fire jumps fireline near Summit Road
People in Corralitos who evacuated their homes are still waiting for the word to return.
>> Video: Evacuees wait for a second night to return
Evacuations and Red Cross Information
Mandatory evacuations are being ordered in the following locations:
- Buzzard Lagoon
- Hazel Dell
- Lower Highland
Main evacuation number for the public: (408) 201-0474
The American Red Cross has opened temporary evacuation centers in the Crosetti Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, located at 2601 East Lake Avenue in Watsonville, and at the Los Gatos Community Center located at 208 East Main Street in Los Gatos. The American Red Cross will be providing food, a safe place to rest and counseling until evacuated residents are allowed to return to their homes. Residents should contact CalFire at (831) 335-6717 or (831) 335-6718 for information on whether your home is in an evacuation area. (www.sccredcross.org)
Cochrane Road Self Storage is offering two months of free storage to anyone in affected areas. For more information contact (408) 782-8883 ( 411 Woodview Ave. in Morgan HIll).
A Morgan Hill RV company is offering to provide new trailers for families to temporarily stay in for free. Alpine RV said they will have at least three trailers ready this morning for fire victims in need. For more information you can call 1-800-290-9232
CAL FIRE air base
The first planes sent in to fight the fire had to come all the way from Santa Rosa, 140 miles away. That's because the nearest CAL FIRE air base, in Hollister, wasn't scheduled to open until June 1. The bases serve as landing strips where tankers fly in, load up with retardant, and return to fight the fire. CAL FIRE called in its crews and managed to get the Hollister base up and running within a few hours.
Poor air quality
Doctors are warning about the danger of smoke particles in the air. This is especially problematic for anyone who suffers from heart or lung illnesses, such as emphysema and asthma.
In Watsonville, farm workers had to stop early in the day because the air quality was so bad.
The wind will help push the smoke out of the area, but that also contributes to spreading the fire itself.
On Friday, the wind shifted north, and health officials in Santa Clara County are advising residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors.
Road closures have been ordered for Summit, Mount Madonna and Pole Line roads, as well as at Corralitos & Freedom and Varney & Corralitos.
All Pajaro Valley Unified School District schools will be closed Friday. However, C.T. English Middle School and Loma Prieta Elementary School will also be closed on Friday.
Residents with animals are encouraged to bring them to Sprig Lake on the eastside of Hecker Pass Highway. Livestock animals can also be brought to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Smaller animals, such as dogs and cats, can be brought to Santa Cruz County Animal Services at 27 Janus Way in Scotts Valley and in Watsonville at 580 Airport Boulevard.
If you would like to adopt an animal that has been rescued from the fire, contact Santa Cruz Animal Services at (831)454-7303.
People needing assistance moving livestock should call (831) 454-7303.
Summit fire images
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Friday (5/23) summit fire video
- Corralitos home owners get devastating news
- Firefighters have a difficult fight ahead
- Fire crews battle dangerous conditions
- Improved conditions for fire crews
- Evacuees find shelter at fairgrounds
- On the fire lines in Santa Cruz County
- Homes destroyed by summit fire
- VIDEO: ABC7's Matt Keller reports
- Strategy on the fire lines
- Corralitos residents evacuated
- Hundreds of firefighters battle blaze
- Gilroy command center
- Health warnings issued in Santa Clara co.
- Gilroy fire basecamp pivotal in fight
- Conditions should be favorable for firefighters
- RAW SKY7-HD: Summit fire Friday morning
- Evacuees find shelter at fairgrounds
- Hundreds of crews gather in Gilroy
Thursday (5/22) summit fire video
- RAW: Summit fire front lines
- RAW SKY7-HD: Summit fire
- 11:20 PM: Command center set up in Gilroy (Lilian Kim)
- 11:16 PM: Hundreds of firefighters battle blaze (Wayne Freedman)
- 11:13 PM: Residents of Corralitos evacuated (Matt Keller)
- 11:11 PM: Officials meet over strategy on the fire lines (John Alston)
- 11:08 PM: Homes destroyed by summit fire (Vic Lee)
- 11:05 PM: On the fire lines in Santa Cruz County (Lisa Amin)
- 9:06 PM: Wayne Freedman reports on the winds
- 9:04 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 6:42 PM: Carolyn Tyler reports from Santa Rosa
- 6:36 PM: Lilian Kim reports from Gilroy
- 6:32 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 6:17 PM: Heather Ishimaru reports from Hollister
- 6:10 PM: Karina Rusk reports from evacuation center
- 6:05 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 6:00 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 5:12 PM: Karina Rusk reports from evacuation center
- 5:08 PM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire battalion chief
- 5:05 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 5:03 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 5:00 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 4:31 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 4:25 PM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire battalion chief
- 4:19 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 4:10 PM: Heather Ishimaru reports from Cal Fire base
- 3:53 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 3:50 PM: RAW: Interview with Bay Area Red Cross
- 3:46 PM: Lyanne Melendez reports from Watsonville
- 3:27 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 3:18 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 3:16 PM: RAW: Interview with PG&E
- 3:04 PM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire battalion chief
- 3:00 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 2:50 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 2:38 PM: RAW: Interview with Bradley School
- 2:32 PM: RAW: Interview with Santa Clara OES
- 2:30PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 2:25 PM: RAW: Interview with Menlo Park chief
- 2:14 PM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire battallion chief
- 2:06 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 1:57PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 1:30 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 1:24 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 1:15 PM: Katie Hammer reports from Santa Cruz hills
- 1:02 PM: Vic Lee reports from the front lines
- 1:00 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 12:47 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 12:40 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 12:36 PM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire battalion chief
- 12:30 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 12:15 PM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- 12:05 PM: Matt Keller reports from Corralitos
- 11:55 AM: RAW: Interview with Cal Fire batallion chief
- 11:45 AM: Katie Hammer reports from Santa Cruz hills
- 11:30 AM: Amy Hollyfield reports on governor's reaction
- 11:30 AM: Karina Rusk talks to PG&E and San Jose Fire
- 11:15 AM: Wayne Freedman reports from Summit Rd.
- RAW: Fire crews battle Summit Fire
- RAW SKY7-HD: Summit fire
- RAW: Interview with Animal Services
- RAW: Interview with pulmonary expert
- RAW: Interview with Virginia Cumha
- RAW: Interview with resident P. Hollinger
- RAW: Interview with homeowner James Burke
- RAW: Interview with homeowner Kenneth Kim
- RAW: Interview with resident E. Quenneville
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