Firefighters battle blaze sparked by lightning in San Mateo County

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Roughly 150 firefighters and aircraft are battling a 50-acre wildfire near the El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve west of Woodside in San Mateo County today, fire officials said.

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The Skeggs Fire was first reported around 7:45 p.m. Monday, according to Cal Fire. It's burning in the hills near Skyline Boulevard and Bear Gulch Road.

Nearby residents have been watching the firefighting efforts throughout the day.

"Most of us have animals, a lot of us have horses up here that we have to make arrangements to get out (if needed)," says Heather Green, Woodside resident. "We're sort of on high alert and not getting anything else done."

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but Cal Fire Capt. Chris Walters believes it may have been connected to lightning strikes in the area.

There were a total of seven fires confirmed after Monday night's thunderstorms, according to Walters. Three of them are still burning and the Skeggs Fire is the largest.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Brian Ham says access is limited.

"There's no roads that go to any part of the fire," says Ham. "Crews are having a tough time of actually hiking in."

The Woodside Fire Protection District is assisting Cal Fire, and sheriff's deputies have closed Kings Mountain Road from Skyline Boulevard to Woodside Road this morning. Huddart Park and Wunderlich County Park are also closed.

Monterey resident, Michael Heller, is visiting friends and family in the area. He could see the smoke from the fire while driving into Woodside from Interstate 280.

"I was going to try and get down the hill, and do a couple of last-minute errands," says Heller. "But I don't know if I even want to make the trip."

Green, who has lived in Woodside for nearly 20 years, is holding out hope the situation gets better.

"We always worry about the fire up here, and we're always really concerned," says Green. "It's really scary thinking if the wind shifts, then it's going to come straight over."

There is no estimate yet for when the fire will be contained.
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