Police / Fire

Fires surrounding San Benito County continue to burn

The county is currently holding Bolado Park as an animal evac location in case evacuations become necessary.

Updated 8/24 as of 7:54 a.m.

Several regional fires surrounding San Benito County continue to burn as of Aug. 24.

The fires include:

  • River Fire in Salinas—48,424 acres and 20% contained as of 8/23
    • Four confirmed personnel and civilian injuries reported. The fire has destroyed 27 structures.
    • Resources: There are 1,131 personnel assigned to this fire, three helicopters, 91 engines, 30 dozers and 15 water tenders.
  • Carmel Fire in Monterey County—6,695 acres and 15% contained as of 8/23
    • The fire has destroyed 54 structures.
    • Resources: There are 867 personnel assigned to this fire, seven helicopters, 101 engines, 24 dozers and 19 water tenders.
  • Hills Fire in Fresno County—2,121 acres burned and 96% containment as of 8/23
    • One fatality reported.
    • Resources: There are 143 personnel assigned to this fire, four dozers and 4 water tenders.
  • CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Cruz/San Mateo—74,000 acres and 8% contained as of 8/23.
    • The fire has destroyed 115 structures.
    • Resources: There are 1,349 personnel assigned to this fire, nine helicopters, 129 engines, 13 dozers and 29 water tenders.
  • SCU Lightning Complex in Santa Clara/Alameda/Contra Costa/San Joaquin/Stanislaus counties—347,196 acres and 10% contained as of 8/24 at 7:08 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 on the Cal Fire Incident Map.

Cal Fire has issued evacuation warnings and orders in locations close to the blazes. The state fire agency issued an evacuation warning for areas bordering San Benito County on Aug. 20 in relation to the SCU Lightning Complex Fire. At this time, no evacuations have been initiated for San Benito. View the Cal Fire evacuation map for locations currently under evacuation warning and order (warning in yellow, order in red).

Due to high call volume, Cal Fire has set up a new incident information line in addition to the current line. For the latest incident information, call (916) 618-3195 or (669) 247-7431.

The San Benito County Office of Emergency Services and San Benito County Sheriff’s Office have been preparing for possible evacuations of animals and residents if necessary. Currently, representatives for the Sheriff’s Office and Hollister Fire Department are at the Alameda County fairgrounds at the #SCULightningComplex base camp for further planning of possible evacuations.

San Benito County Public Information Officer David Westrick told BenitoLink that the county is currently holding Bolado Park as an animal evac location in case evacuations become necessary.

Hollister Police Animal Care and Services said on Facebook that they are working closely with other agencies in anticipation of any potential evacuation of animals. The department is compiling a list of volunteers willing to take in evacuated livestock within San Benito County if necessary. To be added to the list of potential volunteers, call the office at (831) 636-4320.

As of 7:30 a.m. on 8/24 per the Monterey Bay Air Resources District website, Hollister’s air quality is rated 86 particulate matter (PM 2.5). That is 86 particulates <2.5 microns, range of 151-200 which falls in the moderate category.

The National Weather Service has issued a dry lightning warning from 11 a.m. Sunday, 8/23 through 11 a.m. Tuesday, 8/25. This weather warning https://www.weather.gov/mtr/ includes the Diablo Range located in San Benito County. The warning is for:

  •  Fast moving high-based thunderstorms may lead to a risk of dry lightning and new fire starts
  • Gusty winds may accompany stronger thunderstorms
  • Generally light except breezy onshore winds near coast

The following resources have updated information on the fires and air quality:

For more information on how to prepare for a wildfire, visit Cal Fire’s Ready for Wildfire website.

BenitoLink Staff