Wind could play role in battling Loma Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains grew to about 4,313 acres and remains at 34 percent containment. There are nearly 2,000 firefighters battling the fire.

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Friday's temperatures will be relatively cool, but this afternoon winds are expected to pick up to around 30 mph. Firefighters will keep an eye on the flames from the sky, just in case the wind pushes embers past the fire lines.

"We have an aerial supervisor up over the fire and they can get the resources either to Hollister or the San Martin airport over to the spot fire extremely quickly and we do use that as a big resource," said Jonathan Cox, CAL FIRE spokesman

A firefighter was injured last night and taken to the hospital with a minor injuries and is expected to be okay.

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The worst part of this fire has been the destruction of several homes. Firefighters say they found several more homes last night that were destroyed by the flames; the total is now 8 destroyed and 1 damaged. 9 outbuildings were also destroyed.

A community meeting was held at Loma Prieta Elementary, where many residents evacuated from their homes and firefighters could talk. Residents are grateful for the firefighters, but are hoping for more info.

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"Our concerns are that we want to be safe and secure. And, so we're just looking to make sure that if there's anything we can do and so forth that CAL FIRE has all the support and other firefighters and so forth have the support that they need," said Jim Bryant, resident.

Evacuation orders were lifted for Santa Cruz County on Wednesday, but 325 homes on the Santa Clara County side are still considered threatened.

Tim Austin spent a night in his car after he was evacuated from his home on Alamitos road. He is now living in a motel room on the Alameda in San Jose, provided by the non-profit housing group Abode Services.

Like many other evacuees, he doesn't know if his home is still standing.

"I miss my home. I really miss my home. It makes me want to cry every time I think about it," said Austin.

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Evacuations have been lifted for Santa Cruz County residents.

Road closures:
Loma Prieta Road 1 mile east of Highland Way
Summit Road at Ormsby Cutoff
Croy Road 3 miles west of Uvas Road
Casa Loma and McKean Road

Click here for full coverage on the Loma Fire.

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