Firefighters Rush to Contain Wildfire in Santa Cruz Mountains

A blaze that began as a house fire spread into surrounding trees and brush in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Oct. 16. (KTVU via YouTube)

Updated Oct. 20 at 8:45 a.m.

With firefighters still working to contain the deadly, destructive North Bay wildfires, Cal Fire is tackling a blaze that erupted Monday night in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

More than 900 firefighters are battling the Bear Fire in a rugged stretch of country between Boulder Creek and Lexington Reservoir. The blaze began about 10:30 p.m. Monday with a structure fire that spread into the adjacent brush and trees. The fire has burned about 320 acres and is 40 percent contained, Cal Fire reported.

At least four structures have been lost to the blaze, Cal Fire said.

Seven firefighters have suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

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Incident commander Rob Sherman said three other firefighters suffered minor injuries that would not require hospitalization. Residents inside the home that originally caught fire got out safely, Cal Fire spokesman Angela Bernheisel said Monday.

The blaze is threatening some 300 structures, mostly in the rural community of Las Cumbres.

Mandatory evacuation orders were put in place for residents living on Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, Lost Valley Road, Favre Ridge Road and Oak Ridge Road.

Evacuation centers have been opened up at Lakeside Elementary School in Los Gatos and the Zayante Fire Station in Felton.

Initially, an evacuation center was set up at Boulder Creek Elementary but that has since closed.

The Santa Cruz Mountains have a history of large and damaging wildfires.

In 2016 the Loma Fire destroyed 29 buildings and in 2008 the Summit Fire destroyed 64 buildings.

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