300 structures remain under threat and 320 acres have burned in the Bear Fire, the wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains that broke out Monday night, beginning with a house fire near Bear Creek Road that spread to nearby trees. According to Cal Fire's update Thursday morning, the fire has reached 320 acres in rugged terrain, but weather conditions have allowed firefighters to get it 30 percent contained, and some evacuations orders are being lifted.
So far the fire has destroyed four homes and led to seven people being injured, all of them firefighters who have been battling the blaze in steep and difficult terrain, as we learned yesterday. In total, 850 crew members are helping fight the fire, which is now in its third day.
NBC Bay Area reports that fire crews remain "upbeat" about the fire, which has required a lot of assistance from the air, because of the topography.
"The bucket drops are helping; they're a ton of help," says Strike Force member Steve Chapman to the station. "And we're trying to get hose lines up here."
Evacuation orders are being lifted today for the Las Cumbres and Skyline Blvd. communities, as well areas south of Bear Creek Road including Hidden Springs Lane, Moon Rise Road, Mustang Mesa, and Bear Creek Way.
Bear Creek Canyon Road, Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, and their "tributary" roads all remain closed and in the fire zone.
KRON 4 reports that this 54-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglary, after authorities say they found him in possession of at least $15,000 worth of jewelry and a mountain bike that were looted from a home in the evacuation zone.