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Fire burns southwest of San Jose in Santa Cruz Mountains (updated)

Evacuation orders are in place for Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, Lost Valley Road, Favre Ridge, and Oak Ridge

Update, October 19: The Bear Fire has grown to 320 acres. Crews have increased containment to 30 percent, as of Thursday afternoon, reports KSBW.

San Jose Mercury News reports that some evacuation orders have been lifted for the Bear Fire. “Residents can go back to the Las Cumbres and Skyline Boulevard communities, as well as areas south of Bear Creek Road.”

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Update, October 18: Cal Fire reports that roughly 600 firefighters, 52 engines, and nine helicopters are responding to the Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, the blaze was only five percent contained and grew to more than 270 acres.

The latest Cal Fire update says:

The fire is burning in steep, inaccessible terrain covered by drought stressed fuels in heavy timber. [...] Tonight, firefighters will continue to put in containment lines. Tomorrow morning, little change is anticipated in humidity and winds are predicted to remain light, from two to five MPH, increasing from the west by evening.

Evacuation orders are in place for Bear Creek Road, Deer Creek, and Las Cumbres, with Lakeside Elementary School and Zayante Fire Station still serving as evacuation centers. (See below for both locations.)

Those with animals to evacuate should take livestock and other large animals to the Graham Hill Showgrounds, 1145 Graham Hill Road, Santa Cruz, and smaller animals can go to Santa Cruz County Animal Services: 2200 Seventh Avenue, Santa Cruz.

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As the tide turns on the nearly two dozen existing Northern California fires, with Cal Fire’s latest fire map showing greater containment on blazes in Napa and Sonoma Counties and beyond, a new conflagration appeared Monday evening in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Tuesday morning Cal Fire reported via Twitter, that “firefighters are battling a 125 acre fire off Bear Creek road, southwest of San Jose.”

The agency places the burn less than six miles southwest of Los Gatos. Between 100 and 150 people living throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains evacuated in the middle of the night, fleeing what one witness called “a literal wall of fire.”

According to NBC Bay Area, “Evacuation orders are in place for Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, Lost Valley Road, Favre Ridge, and Oak Ridge.”

Residents unsure whether or not current evacuation orders cover their home can text their ZIP code to 888777 to receive regular updates on fire conditions.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that evacuation centers are open in at Lakeside Elementary School in Los Gatos and at the Zayante Fire Station in Felton.

Do not ignore evacuation orders, even if you don’t think that your home is in any danger.

According to KTVU, the Bear Fire has already injured five firefighters and burned one home, with several fire crew members suffering from smoke inhalation while another fell 50 feet into a ravine and broke his wrist. During the night, racing flames threatened some 150 homes.

Another fire had previously broken out near Monterey and Carmel over the weekend but was swiftly contained at 31 acres. Firefighters tamed a 73-acre fire near Lake San Antonio in immediate fashion as well, and a 58-acre blaze west of Fresno.