Today’s fire map shows solid control lines in the northeast, along Hwy 1, and at the fire’s south end, with more work still to do in the Butano Park area and along the Hwy 9 corridor.
The black lines denote edges of the fire that are contained and the red lines are not yet fully under control. The black hash marks are bulldozer or hand dug lines where they’ve cleared vegetation and hope to put a stop to the fire’s progress.
As of this morning, the CZU Lightning Complex is 56% contained with 86,500 acres burned (about 135 square miles). 925 homes have been destroyed along with 171 commercial structures. Over 8,000 people remain evacuated but that’s down from 77,000 just ten days ago.
Personnel and equipment have been re-deployed to other fires and we’re down to 1,777 people on the CZU fire. That’s about 600 fewer personnel than just 4 days ago. There are still 115 engines (down from 178), 26 water tenders (down from 32), 8 helicopters (down from 12), and 11 bulldozers (down from 12) working the fire.
With the increased containment, more solid control lines, almost 70,000 evacuees returned, and dramatically reduced personnel and equipment, it feels like like we’re moving into a new phase of this fire fight. It’s not uniform across the fire as there are still some concerning areas, especially in the north, but I think we’re starting to get into the mop-up phase and that’s good news.