Impacts of 3 major fire complexes come into focus as containment begins

CAL FIRE SCU @calfireSCU, Twitter

Three large “complexes” of fires that have killed at least six people, destroyed more than 1,700 structures, burned hundreds of square miles of the Bay Area – and choked the region’s skies for more than a week – were finally heading toward containment Thursday.

The most destructive, the LNU Complex of fires in Napa, Sonoma, Solano and counties to the north, led to a new evacuation order on Wednesday in Lake and Yolo counties. But Cal Fire said just before 9 p.m. Thursday that the fires overall were 35 percent contained. The LNU fires had scorched 369,935 acres, destroyed 1,080 structures and led to five deaths.

Many evacuation warnings and orders in the fires’ path had been lifted, most recently in the hamlet of Guerneville. Officials across the region reminded residents that three months remain in this year’s fire season, however. They urged curiosity seekers to stay away from the fire zones to ensure the safety of residents and overstretched public safety crews.

Almost as large as LNU, the SCU Complex has scorched 369,471 acres from eastern Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties into San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties. By 7:15 p.m., the blazes in the SCU Complex also were 35 percent contained. They had destroyed 48 structures across their remote and arid path.

And the CZU Complex in the redwood-studded hills of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties was 24 percent contained at 81,479 acres as of 8 p.m. It had caused one fatality and destroyed 590 structures. Some major roads were still closed, at least intermittently, and some evacuation orders remained in effect Thursday evening in Santa Cruz County, but residents were allowed back into Scotts Valley and nearby communities and onto the University of California campus in Santa Cruz. Some of the evacuation centers opened last week in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties have now closed. And an emergency water conservation request across Sonoma County has been lifted.

More detailed information from Cal Fire about road closures and evacuations can be found at the following web pages.

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