Loma Prieta fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains
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Loma Fire Forces Evacuations in Santa Cruz Mountains

Fairgrounds take evacuees as crews battle to keep blaze out of Santa Cruz County

The blaze on the Loma Prieta ridge could be seen last night from West Cliff could be seen at about 7:30, shortly after sunset. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

A fire in the Loma Prieta area has burned more than 1,000 acres, taken out one structure and forced hundreds of evacuations in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The fire has stayed in Santa Clara County, but on Monday Santa Cruzans could see hot smoky plumes peaking over the ridgeline. As of 8:30 a.m. today, the fire was at 5 percent containment, having burned 1,080 acres and threatening 300 homes. Bay Area News Group, has since reported that it’s now actually at 2,000 acres.

According to the Cal Fire website, the fire started around 3 p.m. on Monday. And as temperatures soared above 100 degrees, it had already grown to 500 acres within about three hours. The cause is unknown.

Cal Fire has not yet posted fire map, but the nearby Loma Prieta Winery posted on Facebook that the flames were headed southeast, in the opposite direction of the iconic summit vintners.

Residents can relocate to evacuation centers at the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, the Levy Family Campus/Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos, or the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, which also has an evacuation center for livestock. The Santa Cruz County Horsemen’s Association ground on Graham Hill Road has an evacuation center for livestock as well.

According to NBC Bay Area news, Cal Fire is currently battling 12 uncontained fires, and there have been 5,794 wild fires this year, burning 555,866 acres.

As of today, the Soberanes Fire in nearby Monterey County has been burning three months, scorching 128,380 acres—big enough to make it the 17th-largest fire in state history and the biggest in more than a year, according to the Cal Fire website.

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