A small wildfire quickly grew in size between Monday afternoon and Monday evening between the towns of Los Gatos and Morgan Hill in the Santa Cruz Mountains. While primarily in Santa Clara County as of this morning, the Chronicle reports that officials are eyeing its growth to the west into Santa Cruz County. It is now at 1,085 acres after an overnight firefight and just 5 percent contained, according to CalFire.
Hot, dry conditions Monday and little marine moisture made for perfect conditions for the spread of what's now called the Loma Fire, which began around 2:30 p.m. near Loma Prieta Mountain off Loma Prieta Avenue and Loma Chiquita Road, and spread to 1,000 acres within six hours. As ABC 7 says, "Aircrafts made big drops trying to slow the fire but 1.000 acres in about six hours is not good." Flames reportedly reached 100 feet high in spots, and 300 structures are threatened. The origin of the fire is still unknown, and at least two homes have reportedly burned (likely including the one pictured above via KCBS).
The Mercury News reports that the fire had reached 2,000 acres by Tuesday morning, but the CalFire report had not yet reflected that.
There was another small fire also called the Loma Fire in this same area in 2009, and the much worse Summit Fire of 2008 that burned 4,000 acres in the region.
What was predicted to be an especially vicious fire season continues to be, and another blaze of about 1,500 acres, the Sawmill Fire, broke out Sunday in rural Sonoma County near The Geysers, 10 miles east of Cloverdale, and was 55 percent contained as of Tuesday. To the south, the massive, two-month-old Soberanes Fire has reached 81 percent containment, after burning almost 130,000 acres.
Mandatory evacuation orders for the Loma Prieta ridgeline area including all tributary roads along Summit Road from Soquel San Jose Road to Ormsby Fire Station. This includes Uvas Canyon County Park, Loma Chiquita, Casa Loma, Loma Prieta Way, Highland Road and Mount Bache Road. Portions of Croy Road are under an evacuation warning.