Several regional fires surrounding San Benito County continue to burn as of Aug. 24. There are currently no evacuation warnings or orders for San Benito, and the red flag warning has been lifted for the Central Coast region.
- River Fire in Salinas—48,424 acres and 23% contained as of 10:28 a.m.
- Four confirmed personnel and civilian injuries reported. The fire has destroyed 21 structures.
- Resources: There are 1,274 personnel assigned to this fire, three helicopters, 119 engines, 26 dozers and 17 water tenders.
- Carmel Fire in Monterey County—6,695 acres and 15% contained as of 2:53 p.m.
- The fire has destroyed 51 structures.
- Resources: There are 909 personnel assigned to this fire, six helicopters, 108 engines, 32 dozers and 22 water tenders.
- Hills Fire in Fresno County—2,121 acres burned and 98% containment as of 2:07 p.m.
- One fatality reported.
- Resources: There are 143 personnel assigned to this fire, four dozers and four water tenders.
- CZU Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Cruz/San Mateo—78,000 acres and 13% contained as of 2:07 p.m.
- The fire has destroyed 163 structures.
- Resources: There are 1,511 personnel assigned to this fire, nine helicopters, 151 engines, 15 dozers and 30 water tenders.
- SCU Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Clara/Alameda/Contra Costa/San Joaquin/Stanislaus counties—347,196 acres and 10% contained as of 9:06 a.m.
- Three first responder injuries and two civilian injuries reported. The fire has destroyed 12 structures.
- Resources: There are 1,336 personnel assigned to this fire, five helicopters, 152 engines, 30 dozers and 42 water tenders.
More information is available at the Cal Fire Incidents web page.
San Benito County Sheriff Captain Eric Taylor spoke at an Aug. 24 Cal Fire press conference for the SCU Lightning Complex Fire. In relation to the fire affecting San Benito, he said things are looking good so far but that doesn’t mean things can’t change.
The SCU Lightning Complex Fire is the closest to San Benito County, with an evacuation warning just north of the county line in Santa Clara County. Check the Cal Fire Evacuation Map to view the affected areas (yellow is an evac warning, red is an evac order).
Jim Burns of the American Red Cross for the Central Coast region said people should be ready to evacuate. He said plan in advance and to “plan of the worse but hope for the best.”
Burns suggested having all legal papers, deeds, passports, bank information, prescriptions and extra eye glasses. Know where the shelters in your area are, which can be found at www.redcross.org/shelter. They also have hotel rooms available because shelters must follow COVID-19 rules and often fill up sooner than before the pandemic.
He also said mental health is important: take a news break, exercise, eat well and sleep enough. The Red Cross does offer both in person and Zoom mental health services.
Though the National Weather Service issued a dry lightning warning over the weekend, Cal Fire reported that the lightning strikes didn’t come in like expected. There was one lightning strike near Pacheco Pass that started a small fire, which was quickly contained and put out.
Police and fire representatives—including those from the Hollister Fire Department and San Benito Sheriff’s Office—meet several times a day to look at the risk of the fire for neighboring communities. The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office provides updates on Facebook.
For information on how to prepare for a wildfire, visit Cal Fire’s Ready for Wildfire website.
Cal Fire BEU Facebook and Twitter (San Benito/Monterey Unit)
Cal Fire SCU Facebook and Twitter (Santa Clara Unit)
Cal Fire SZU Facebook (San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit)
Cal Fire/Fresno County Fire Facebook
Check Cal Fire Facebook pages for daily live updates.
Air quality for Aug. 24 is listed as moderate.
The National Weather Services has lifted the red flag warning for the Central Coast region.
San Benito County Sheriff Facebook (831) 636- 4080
Hollister Fire Department Facebook (831) 636-4325
San Benito County Office of Emergency Services Facebook (831) 696-4168
Hollister Police Department Facebook (831) 636-4330