Huge plumes of smoke can be seen mushrooming over the Santa Cruz Mountains just above Ben Lomand due to a rapidly growing wildfire. It's gone from 100 acres to well over 1,000 in just a couple of hours. The fire allegedly sparked at the intersection of Summit and Loma Prieta roads.

No lives, as of now, have been lost.

Hundreds of homes, a few compounds, and several schools (C.T. English Middle School, Loma Prieta Elementary School in Los Gatos and Mount Madonna School in Watsonville) have been evacuated. Summit Road at Mount Madonna Road and Pole Line Road are closed. Highway 152 might close down before noon.

Here is some flaming footage. Really, the blaze is spectacular, folks. If you have access to a TV, tune into any station; they're all hysterically on-the-scene live. (Cheryl Jennings is on the phone with a fire department chief right now, practically blaming him and his department for being ill-prepared to fight the fire... WHILE THE FIRE IS RAGING. Real nice.)

The Gate reports that "there [is] no estimate of when the fire would be controlled. The cause has not been determined."

Oh, and will someone let us know where residents can bring their animals for shelter? They tend to get left behind in these situations. Thanks.