The largest of the lightning-sparked conflagrations in the Bay Area, which is once again the LNU Lightning Complex fires by about 200 acres, saw containment rise to 33 percent overnight, and one entire zone of the SCU Lightning Complex has been declared fully contained.
The fire situation around the Bay has been relatively calm over the past 48 hours, ever since a red-flag warning had created heightened stress on Sunday and Monday, and a thick marine layer has moved in since. But weather patterns are shifting on Thursday, and firefighters are hoping to continue gaining containment as humidity levels potentially drop.
LNU Lightning Complex
New evacuation orders were issued for a portion of southern Colusa County, marking the sixth county that the LNU complex had entered. The biggest cluster of hot spots in the fire as of today are in the northernmost section of the Hennessey Fire, where it burning across the Yolo-Colusa county line near the eastern edge of Lake County. A new order was issued Wednesday for all areas and residents West of SR-16, south of SR-20, and east of the Colusa/Lake County Line; as well as areas north of the Yolo-Colusa county line, east of SR-16, west of Sand Creek/Green Road, and south of the dead end of Spring Valley Road.
The Hennessey Fire overall was 33-percent contained at 303,155 acres as of Wednesday evening, and the Walbridge Fire in Sonoma County was 19-percent contained at 55,353 acres. As the Press-Democrat reports, firefighters said they expected to "turn the corner" on the Walbridge Fire on Thursday, but the main priority will be keeping the eastern flank of the fire out of Middletown in Lake County.
The total number of structures confirmed destroyed by the fires rose by about 100 to 1,080.
SCU Lightning Complex
Favorable weather conditions have helped the firefight in the SCU Lightning Complex fires, where hot spots continue burning in the southern part of Alameda County east of Fremont, and in Henry W. Coe State Park east of Morgan Hill.
Containment on the fire complex rose to 35 percent, with 368,671 acres burned, and 37 structures destroyed. One of the three zones in the fire, the Deer Fire in Contra Costa County, has been declared fully contained, as KPIX reports.
In a Thursday release, Cal Fire warned that "Gusty west winds will still be of concern afternoon and evening hours” today. “The biggest weather-related threat will continue to be nighttime drying or lowering of humidity," the agency said.
CZU Lightning Complex Fires
The size of the lightning complex fires in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties rose to 81,333 acres overnight, and it is now 21-percent contained as of Thursday morning. A total of 635 structures have been destroyed in the fire, primarily in Santa Cruz County. All evacuation orders remain in place for the area.
Two men remain missing in the fire, and they've now been identified as 21-year-old Shane Smith and 37-year-old Micah Szoke, who were both last seen in the evacuation zone in Santa Cruz County. As KTVU reports, authorities are seeking help confirming the pair's whereabouts. As the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office revealed in a Thursday morning briefing, one of the people believed missing earlier this week, 70-year-old Henry Reinke, was found alive on Wednesday.
The Woodward Fire in Marin County continues moving slowly, both in growth and containment. The fire grew slightly overnight to 2,860 acres, and it remains only 8-percent contained, up from 5 percent on Wednesday.
Top photo: Cabernet Franc grape vines destroyed by the LNU Lightning Complex fire are shown at M.S. Torun Family Vineyards on August 24, 2020 in Napa, California. The LNU Lightning Complex fire is spread over five counties and has burned more than 350,000 acres. The massive wildfire has destroyed at least 870 structures and is only 22 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)