Containment lines improved on all the Bay Area wildfires between Sunday and Monday, but the Woodward Fire in rugged parts of western Marin County remains the most difficult to manage.
The SCU Lightning Complex fires, which continue to burn in Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Joaquin counties, reached 60-percent containment overnight, and Cal Fire now says that this largest of the August lightning fires will reach 100-percent containment later this week, possibly by Thursday. 20,000 structures remain under threat from the fires, particular at the southern end of the complex in Santa Clara County, however only 40 structures have been confirmed destroyed thus far. The continued firefight, as CalFire explains, is a combination of controlling the burning that is ongoing as it consumes "heavy dead and down fuels," and "scout[ing] for safe access points in order to construct direct and indirect fire line." As a result of the containment, all evacuation orders in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Joaquin counties were lifted on Monday.
The fire has now burned 383,157 acres over 12 days, making it the second-largest wildfire in state history.
The LNU Lightning Complex reached 63-percent containment as of early Monday, and it has burned a total of 375,209 acres in two primary zones across six counties, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano, Yolo, and Colusa. Hot spots have disappeared from the FireMappers map at the northeast edge of the fire where they were occurring late last week, and Cal Fire says that "Firefighters worked to control flare-ups in the interior islands of the fire which pose a threat when near the fire's perimeter."
The Walbridge Fire, which did heavy damage in the Mill Creek area west of Healdsburg, is now 64-percent contained, and previous evacuation orders for Rio Nido and the Dry Creek area have been downgraded to evacuation warnings.
The CZU Lightning Complex, which has burned 84,860 acres in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, is now 39-percent contained as of this morning, having grown by 100 acres overnight. Over 1,360 structures have been confirmed destroyed in these fires, with damage assessments now 97-percent complete — and the Chronicle says that 860 of those structures were homes.
By comparison, the LNU Complex, which was thought to be the most destructive of the three major fire complexes, has destroyed 1,209 structures as of last count, and KPIX reports via Cal Fire that about half of those buildings were homes.
The Woodward Fire near Point Reyes grew on Sunday to 3,269 acres, with only 17 percent of it contained. As the National Park Service, which is leading the firefight, reports in a Monday morning update, "Crews made good progress on the fire yesterday. A hoselay operation is in place along the entire western edge of the fire with crews mopping up along the containment lines." The northern portion of the fire remains the most active, and air support has been precluded by both smoke and a thick marine layer over the vicinity.
Meanwhile, smoke is expected to linger over parts of the Bay Area through the middle of this week, with some of it blowing down from the north where fires are actively burning in Butte, Tehama, and Glenn counties. ABC 7 reports that our air quality should begin to improve as of Wednesday, September 2.
🛰️The view from 22,000 miles up this morning - low clouds along the coast and the inland valleys, but the more notable thing is the smoke. The brown tint is widespread smoke from ongoing wildfires. #cafire #cawx pic.twitter.com/ZQfeV68BeT— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) August 31, 2020