CZU Lightning Complex Fire: Dozens of homes burned in Santa Cruz County's Bonny Doon neighborhood

Tuesday, August 25, 2020
4 missing in CZU Complex Fire, scorches 78,000 acres
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According to CAL FIRE, 1 person has died and the CZU Lightning Complex Fire has scorched 78,000 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties as of Monday morning.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Four people have been reported missing in the wildfire that continues to rage out of control in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.

In an update Monday morning, CAL FIRE announced the fire is now 13% contained. Officials credit high humidity that has helped some of the flames burn out on their own.

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The CZU Lightning Complex fire has charred 78,000 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. It has destroyed 231 structures and is threatening another 24,300.

CAL FIRE said crews had to rescue six people who tried to sneak back into a restricted area.

On Sunday, CAL FIRE said one person is dead. As of Monday morning, the victim's name had not yet been released.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Track wildfires across Bay Area, other parts of CA

CAL FIRE said the city of Santa Cruz is no longer in immediate danger.

In the tight-nit community of Bonny Doon, are dozens of homes that are among the more than 200 structures destroyed by CZU Lightning Complex Fire.

VIDEO: Dozens of homes destroyed by wildfire in Santa Cruz County

We found an empty, eerie scene along Empire Grade Road. Among the gray rubble where homes once stood and the menacing orange flames in the distance, there are homeowners who have risked their lives to stay behind despite orders to evacuate.

Homeowner Gabriel Briton left as flames approached, but returned in an effort to save his home.

"I was there with my brother and two other people holding it back," said Briton.

The CZU Complex Fire has burned more than 78,000 acres and claimed one life. It is 13% contained. Widespread evacuation orders remain in effect.

WATCH: Big Basin Redwoods, California's oldest state park, devastated by CZU Lightning Complex; Fate of ancient trees unknown

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Get the latest updates and videos on the CZU, LNU and SCU Lightning Complex Fires here.