tv Today in the Bay NBC October 17, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PDT
where that fire started. the flames sprung up at deer creek road and bear creek road. people called into the newsroom overnight. evacuations are under way as people gather at boulder creek elementary school. we have one crew at the shelter at this time. >> we have bob redell there, at the scene, with cal fire and with the sheriff's deputies. he said it appeared it started with a structure fire of some sort and quickly spread to the dry brush. now, here is where we are hours later. we want to go to "today in the bay's" bob redell. bob, spilled the beans for you, but we know that there's a potential cause here. >> reporter: cal fire telling us, kris and marcus, yes, it started as a structure fire around 11:30, maybe a little before that last night. at first, it was around ten acres. now, it's grown to 125 acres. you have 150 people who have been told they must evacuate.
we are here at bear creek road and highway 35. we saw two pick-up trucks leaving with animals. i assume they are evacuating. a lady came by with animals. she e vk waited. she saw it and didn't want to have to deal with that. she is probably making the right decision. the areas that are evacuated, i'm going list off roads. deer creek road, rons road, dons road, lost valley and favor ridge and oak ridge. the santa cruz county sent reverse 911 calls to people who live in the evacuation zones. you should have received those calls. even in the evacuation zone, if you don't want to be down there and feel like you are in danger, leave the area if it's safe to do so. cal fire is calling this fire the bear fire. they are doing it as #bearfire, if you are on twitter and want to follow the latest updates.
the evacuation center is boulder creek elementary. >> we have a warm building and we'll try to get coffee and water and do whatever we can to make them comfortable. >> see, as they continue to make things comfortable for people evacuating the area, there. that is boulder creek elementary school. of course, right now, the big thing we have talked about with the north bay fire and the fire with the santa cruz mountains is the weather. how will it play a role as crews continue to fight. meteorologist, kari hall, you have been tracking this. what do we have today? >> calm winds and slightly low humidity, compared to where we should be at this time in the morning. we have very dry fuel there on the ground. it's been months since we have had rain. as we look at the temperature trend, starting out around that area, near the bear fire, it will be in the mid-50s. we have to wait until sunrise until we are able to get action
on containment on this fire. our temperatures are going to be nice and cool, in the upper 50s, then making it to the low 70s as we go through the day. as we start out this morning, looking around the bay area, upper 50s right now. once again, our humidity has been slightly lower. around that bear creek canyon area, we are at 41% humidity. it is going to start to rise as we go toward late morning, early afternoon, which is really good, but may help settle some of that smoke into the valleys. we'll have another day of poor air quality. those winds coming in from the north and that is what we'll see through at least the first part of the afternoon. there will be shifts in the winds that could change the direction of the fire, i'll continue to monitor that. now, as we head over to mike, updating on how to get around the closures in the area. >> that's right, kari. fortunately, the closures aren't for the local roadways. if you are outside the evacuation orders you are okay
as far as the freeways go. highway 9 and 17, chp is reporting no disruptions. no problems aside from the construction that cleared on schedule before 5:00. we are looking over here at this area with the hazard sign. bear creek and deer creek is where the hard closure is by chp and saying to avoid the area. we tweeted the closure information. i'm going to give you a full list. i wanted to show the rest of the bay. that moves well across the santa cruz mountains. watch for all those flashing lights, guys. back to you. >> thanks, mike. back to the fire in the santa cruz mountains as it has burned 125 acres. as you can see there, those flames continue to burn, sparking there from those trees. the smoke filled air. those evacuations for people in that area continue at this hour. this is video showing the growing fire in the mountains. officials say they use reverse 911 to inform residents about the fire.
they say even if you are not under mandatory evacuations, you feel you are in danger, leave your home, leave it now. there are several agencies fighting this fire. we have crews from santa clara county fighting those flames. they continue to grow. >> one of those evacuees saw the flames 30-40 feet in the air and it was time to get out. the mandatory evacuations affecting 150 people. they had to leave their homes in the middle of the night. firefighters are telling us the folks who he has homes are not under mandatory evacuation should be prepared to leave if they feel like they are in danger, as marcus said. if you don't feel safe, leave if you smell smoke or see fire, then go. boulder creek elementary school is the play to go. it is the designated evacuation center. some folks have been there as early as 2:00 this morning. ellen arrived there, just grabbing a few things and getting out.
>> a friend came, too. he said the sheriff is here. i said the sheriff is here? i didn't do anything wrong, honest. people here are very nice men. set up chairs, put it over here because he said it was the warmest part of the room. we have an old lady to get special treatment. i brought a complete change of clothes. i have a vest and a jacket on. so, yeah, i'm set. >> all right. nervous laughter there at the evacuation center. it's good she got out. she got a knock from a neighbor, but a lot of folks got resers 911 calls and had to leave. some getting reverse 911 calls. the firefighters already on the line. it looks like they started with a structure fire earlier this morning around midnight. then that spread to the vegetation fire.
>> yeah. part of the challenge that we are seeing with the firefighters is the deep, rigid terrain. we spoke with bob sherman, who talked to us about the long wait for daylight to assess the situation. >> this area is very, very rough and jagged, as you can see behind me. it's very hard to see and it's very hard to access. once we get eyes in the air, we'll know more what we got. >> at 5:07, we want to go to the north bay wildfires and get you caught up on the latest numbers. cal fire saying the tubbs fire is 75% contained. the atlas fire is at 70% containment. the nuns fire is 53% contained. together, all three of those fires burned almost 140,000 acres since last sunday night. the number of wildfire deaths across northern california stands at 41. that includes the driver of a
water truck who died in a crash in oakville. sonoma county authorities say there were 88 people reported missing and not yet accounted for. >> "today in the bay's" bob redell is there in the santa cruz mountain tracking the evacuation orders as well as the fire crew that is are arriving there. cal fire is there. santa clara county fire department is assisting as well. the rose closures are manned by the sheriff as well as the santa county sheriff. if you come across a hard closure, please observe that, fire crews are trying to get through. we are going hear from bob redell, next. give your boring old breakfast a wake up call.
jack's breakfast pockets, each for just two bucks. only from jack in the box. it is 5:11 now. we are following this breaking news. these flames not in the north bay, folks, this is the santa cruz mountains. the flames have been jumping from tree-to-tree and climbing the rough terrain since about midnight. we know that cal fire is watching and assessing the situation. they cannot fly an aerial assault until the daylight hours. they are on the ground. we have seen heavy equipment and bulldozers. it prompted an evacuation for a lot of folks and burned about 125 acres. >> we first came on the air at 3:00 telling you u what was going on in the santa cruz mountains. the flames grew rather quickly. the first glimpse of what's going on on ground, we have
"today in the bay's" bob redell there. bob, this is really something that has grown so quickly from ten acres, then we heard 125 now. >> reporter: correct, marcus. cal fire started around 10:30 last night as a structure fire and spread. around 12:30, it was ten acres. in four and a half, four to five hours since, it's grown to, unfortunately, 125 acres. we are on bear creek road, highway 35. chp has a check point, a roadblock set up limiting the traffic going in and out of the areas because of the cal fire equipment. they want the firefighters to get their equipment on the steep, windy roads to have access to get the fires put out. this is a great concern for people. this area, the santa cruz mountain is steep, full of vegetation and, of course, a lot of people have the north bay fires still fresh on their
minds. bob redell, "today in the bay." >> thank you very much, bob. bob has been on the fire lines for the last week as well. this is very difficult situation because fire crews are stretched thin. cal fire has a station in the santa cruz mountains. they are never uncovered. it's got to be a difficult time. >> they are paying attention to the weather, the wind conditions. as we saw, kari hall, we are going to see wind. not as much as last week. we are going to see a pick up. >> a small increase in the winds as we go through the day, which can be expected. now, as we get you oriented where we are here, looking at bear creek road south of los gatos now and locater of where we are tracking that wildfire off of bear creek road and that area in the santa cruz mountains. a call went to start out. let's look at how the temperatures are shaping up as
we start out this morning. it's in the mid-50s there. by 6:00, the temperatures slowly warm after sunrise. that's when the cal fire crews start to take action againls that wildfire and get containment on the bear fire in the santa cruz mountains. our temperatures as we go through the day will start to warm up into the 70s. a lot of smoke in the area. with high pressure that we have had recently, that may cause the smoke to settle back into some of the valleys. we have to deal with the unhealthy air quality again today. and temperatures starting out in the upper 50s in the south bay. as you look at the north bay right now, temperatures in the upper 40s. we also monitor the relative humidity and the wind speeds and which way it may cause the fire to spread. looking at the bear creek canyon, it's 41% humidity, which is relatively low for this time of morning. it's very dry. we have a lot of dry fuel on the ground. we will start to see that on
shore flow bringing slightly higher humidity as we go into the afternoon. while in the north bay, with those winds coming in from the northwest, it is going to be very dry, even as we go into tonight. starting to rebound as we go through the day. now, calm wind speeds as of now, the winds stay calm throughout the day. the high temperatures this afternoon reaching into the low 80s. once again, poor air quality all around the bay area for the north bay and may become unhealthy this afternoon. mike, you are checking in on the routes around the fire. >> that's right, kari. we are talking silicon valley. too early to see slowing. highway 17 south or north through the santa cruz mountains are what commuters are worried ability. slowing southbound. there are overnight crews that typically move through the area. there are emergency crews traveling through the area. bob redell saw them. that's because of the bear fire. we are talking west of highway
17, east of highway 9. both highways are moving well. a lot of local road closures. i want to show it to you on a list. deer creek road. deer creek at the bear creek is where the hard closure is by chp and local traffic control. get back to the map and talking a smooth flow of traffic to and from santa cruz. we are tracking this. back to you guys. >> all right. assistant cal fire chief sherman joins us on the phone. you have been looking at the dry hillsides wondering if this is going to happen. what is the situation now? >> caller: we have approximately 125 acres based on our best intel because of darkness and ter wra terrain. we are making access to the fire. crews are coming in. we currently have 100 structures
that are threatened. as of this morning, at first light, we'll have aircraft ordered to come out and help with this. >> i imagine the time of day may be your biggest challenge at this point. explain to me, what is the biggest challenge? >> caller: right now, access. we are in very steep, rugged terrain. the roads are not paved, they are access roads for a few residents. it's hard access getting in and out. >> we know, with the north bay wildfires, we saw so much mutual aid. were you all left stretched thin because of the north bay wildfire fight? >> caller: we had enough initial resources for ordinary fires that we normally get. a fire this size and this intense, we had to go bigger. >> our reporter said it appeared it started initially as a structure fire that quickly
spread into that dry grass and now into the wildfire situation we are seeing. did you anticipate this could be a possibility? >> caller: as i heard the weather person say, we took weather readings a bit ago. sitting at the command post is 20%. usually it drops this time of day, before sunrise in this area. so, the winds are light. that's good. the current fire is very steep and a lot of timber. >> we have seen you all bring in a lot of equipment, a lot of dozers and things like that. explain to us the plan to target the fire now. >> caller: right now, we are doing direct attack. fighting fire on the direct edge of the fire. we are doing that with hand crews, engines and dozers. >> explain what those dozers do? >> they cut access as best we can. dozers are limited around here
due to the steep access. that's why we have land crews. >> we know you are getting assistance from the santa cruz sheriff on the hard road closures. what is it like when folks bust through those road closures and occupy the road when you are trying to get that heavy equipment in? >> caller: it's a safety issue for us and the individuals when it happens. they have been good at keeping people out of the area. we haven't really had that issue, yet. >> okay. how many personnel do you have on the line and, at this point, can you tell how many structures are under threat? >> caller: right now, 20 structures. we are looking at personnel. probably 150. >> okay. last question for you, sir, we know boulder creek elementary school is the official evacuation center. we did talk to an evacuee and he
couldn't get that direction he could only get out black road. is there a chance people will get caught in the fire as they head to the evacuation center? >> caller: this is a very not dense populated area. most people evacuated are on the other side of the hill. they have been given direction on how to get out. if you have questions regarding that, contact the sheriff's office. >> will do. thank you so much, sir. >> rob sherman with cal fire, thank you for that update. coming up on "today in the bay," we continue to follow that fire burning in the santa cruz mountains. we will continue to bring those updates as soon as we return from this break. we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine!
full-bodied. right now - mandatory evacuations are underway in bear back to that breaking news. if you are just joining us, right now, there is a mandatory evacuation under way in bear creek canyon. this is a look at the location of the brush fire in boulder creek. it is burning southwest of saratoga and los gatos as well as north of ben lomond. this is video of cal fire as they watch the fire as it burns 130 acres. >> the last five minutes or so, the cal fire assistant chief said 100 homes are under threat. we have been telling you all
morning 150 people are under evacuation orders. turning to the north bay wildfire fight. hospitals are expected to be a safe place when disaster hits, but several in santa rosa were closed because of the size and scope of the wildfires. we saw the evacuations as the flames were coming toward the structures. this morning, one is expected to get back to business as usual. >> pete suratos is live in santa rosa with the hospital set to reopen in a matter of hours. pete? >> reporter: that's right, marcus and kris. in an hour and a half at 7:00 a.m., santa rosa regional hospital will finally open their doors after being closed for a week due to the north bay wildfires. as you mentioned, this is a safe haven, a safe place for folks when disaster hits. it changed last week when the wildfires encroached. we have video we want to show you. we have shown it for the better part of the week.
this is in front of kaiser permanente in santa rosa. you had nurses, doctors, everything jumping into action, geting them out of harms way as they had to evacuate the area. as for the regional hospital we are standing in front of, they evacuated last week as well, transferring 77 patients and evacuating 100 people who came there to get help because of the wildfires. the hospital has its own well water system that is separate from the city of santa rosa. the reason i bring that up is the system was extremely helpful to firefighters. firefighters, to date, used 500,000 gallons of water from the well water system at the hospital to battle the wildfires. it was very useful in that sense. the hospital officials are eager to reopen and help out the community and bring in a sense of normalcy. their doors will reopen with full service at 7:00 a.m. live
in santa rosa, pete suratos for "today in the bay." >> thank you very much, pete. this morning, fire crews may set a backfire to contain the wildfire threat in the kenwood area. >> crews say this would only happen if conditions are perfect at sugar loaf state park. coming up, we continue to follow the fire coverage not just here in the north bay, but the santa cruz mountains. the flames are going up, 30, 40 feet. that's when one evacuee said he knew it was time to get out. we'll tell you about the road closures and what cal fire is doing when we continue our fire coverage, next. well well well, what have we here?
we are following breaking news -- mandatory evacu good morning. thanks for joining us. we are following breaking news in the santa cruz mountains. mandatory evacuation orders for 150 people. a wildfire burning near homes in the boulder creek area. i'm kris sanchez in for laura garcia. >> i'm marcus washington. we take you to video of that fire. this is called the bear fire burning in boulder creek in bear creek canyon. what you are looking at are the flames as they continue to burn the more than 125 acres right now. we do know that about 150 people have been forced to evacuate in areas surrounding or near by
where that fire is burning right now. we can confirm it started as a structure fire and spread to vegetation nearby. we have crews from cal fire, chp, santa cruz and santa clara fighting and trying to get the fire under control. >> firefighters from cal fire are waiting for daylight to be able to attack this fire from the air. they say they are also watching the forecast and they are not liking what they hear from kari about the humidity dropping right about now. >> mandatory evacuations are under way in bear creek canyon. this is a look at the location we were telling you about as the brush fire starpted. it is burning southwest of saratoga and los gatos. now, we want to take a closer look at where the fire started. the flames started to come up around 12 something last night or so. this is deer creek road and bear creek road. you are looking at the official evacuation center as people are
being told they could go there to find a safe place as the fire continues. people have been calling into the newsroom from overnight. right now, evacuees are gathering right here, boulder creek elementary school. we have a crew at the makeshift shelter. >> about 100 homes are under threat right now. let's go straight to "today in the bay's" bob redell who has the cause of the fire and how fast it spread. bob? >> reporter: good morning to you, kris and marcus. cal fire tells us it started as a structure fire. it has grown to 125 acres. behind me, bear creek road and highway 35, chp set up a roadblock. the officers are trying to limit the amount of traffic that comes through here. if you are familiar with them, the roads are windy and tight. firefighters trying to get to the fire, they need this space. we saw a number of fire trucks
up here an hour or so ago from monterey and santa clara. there are 30 units up here fighting this fire. there is a lot of concern. this area is steep, full of vegetation and of course, the fires burning in wine country are fresh on everyone's mind. last night, the sheriff's office sent out a reverse 911 call to people who live up here, ordering them to evacuate. the areas of evacuation are for people on deer creek road, rons road, dons road lost valley road, favre ridge, oak ridge. they are asking you to go to boulder creek elementary if you don't have anywhere else to go. cal fire is saying, look, if you don't live in a mandatory evacuation zone, but feel like you are in danger, leave the area, if it's safe to do so. live -- >> we don't have a lot to offer, baa warm building. we'll try to get coffee and water and do whatever we can to
make them comfortable. >> that is a spokesman from the san lorenzo valley school district. we will hear more from him in a moment. he is manning the evacuation center. >> we want to track weather and traffic. cal fire said they are concerned to hear about the humidities dropping. >> right. because the higher humidity does help squash some of those flames. we have such dry conditions as we start out this morning. i want to get you oriented to show you just exactly where this wildfire is burning to the south and west of los gatos and near that bear creek road area. we have some, once again, dry brush. it's been months since we had rain. as we look at the temperatures and wind speeds starting out this morning, it is nice and cool, which is a good thing. mid-50s, we stay there through at least sunrise. a lot of smoke in that area that may create low visibility at times for cal fire. they will be trying to get out
after sunrise and get a handle on the wildfire. looking at the forecast wind in miles per hour throughout the morning, staying calm and that is going to help them out as far as not seeing any strong winds fanning those flames throughout at least 10:00 this morning. so, looking good as far as the winds. humidity not so much. mike is going to get you around that commute at 17. >> unfortunately, kari, highway 17 remains open from 880 to 280 through los gatos and the summit. this includes that area. we see slowing past the bear creek road. this is where bob redell is reporting, bear creek at highway 35 off the freeway. bear creek through redwood estates. there may be traffic in the area as they move emergency vehicles through the area. make way for the vehicles as they try to get over toward the bear fire. again, this does not affect the commuters. locals in the area have been
evacuated. bear creek and deer creek for the full closure. active ty certainly in the area. highway 9 getting busier. it has a partial closure at brookdale. those are likely still in effect for folks traveling through the area. highway 17 remains open for this mornings commute. back to you. >> thank you very much, mike. >> right now, we want to take a look at give you updates on what's going on right now. this is the santa cruz fire, santa cruz mountains, rather, called the bear fire. at least 125 acres are burning. some 150 people have been forced to e vk wavacuate the area. those flames continue to burn. people received those emergency reverse 911 calls to alert them about what's going on there and to get out of that area. >> right. but they say, cal fire and the
sheriff's department, if you don't feel safe, don't wait for some official notice. don't wait for a reverse 911. if you don't feel safe, get out. if you smell smoke and see flames, leave the area. the fire started about 10:00 last night and started as a house fire. according to rob sherman, who we spoke with a short time ago -- >> the initial report was a structure fire. right now, one structure is confirmed. we have no reports of any other structure that is have been burned at this time. >> reporter: okay. total right now? >> we are looking at 25 plus acres, maybe 30 acres. that will change. intel is hard to see at night in these steep canyons. we have an access issue. you can see behind me, steep and rugged terrain.
>> we spoke to the chief, it did grow, it is at about 125 acres. firefighters are waiting for daylight to see how to assess and tackle those flames. we know they cannot fly aircraft until there is some daylight. >> here we are at 5:37. we want to get you caught up on what's happening with the north bay fire. here are the latest numbers we have for you. cal fire says it tubbs fire 75% contained. the atlas fire, 70% containment. nuns fire 53% contained. together, the three fires burned almost 140,000 acres since last sunday night. the number of wildfire deaths across northern california stands at 41. that now includes the driver of a water truck who died in a crash in oakville. sonoma county authorities say there are still 88 people reported missing or not accounted for. an update on the investigation into what sparked these wildfires as well.
>> tonight, an update on the investigation and what sparked these fires. late today, pg&e acknowledged they had eight equipment incidents in eight days. that's significant because they are investigating the possibility that downed pg&e power lines started one or more of the fires. we discovered state regulators have been concerned about the strength and reliability of the power poles for some time. >> we are going to take a quick break. we are monitoring the fire burning in the santa cruz mountains. we have continuing coverage coming up next, including where the evacuation sensor is and what road closures you are going to want to avoid. we can tell you, if you don't have business in the santa cruz mountains, you need to stay out.
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it is 5:41. if you are just joining us, we want to get you up-to-date on this mandatory evacuation. this is in the santa cruz mountains t boulder creek area where a fire started as a structure fire and quickly spread to the vegetation and the rough terrain. you can see the flames are shooting well high, into the air. we can tell you, people started receiving those reverse 911 calls in the santa cruz area to get out. last night, they started receiving those calls and people said, some of them said they saw those flames and got out quickly. >> one man said 30-40 feet in the air to get out and take that
mandatory evacuation order very seriously. we can tell you, deer creek road, rons road, dons road, favor valley and oak ridge are closed. we have it on our twitter feed so you can see it if you have friends or family or you are in the santa cruz mountains. they are hard road closures. if you smell or see smoke, leave the area right now. mike inouye is tracking the traffic impact. kari hall is tracking the weather, though, because we know this is going to have a ser use impact on the cal fire. >> they are already exhausted. we have so many wildfires. think about the conditions in the santa cruz mountains. we have so much rain during the winter that we had a lot of brush just really grow and explode and then throughout these last several months, it's been so dry. now, everything is just fuel for those wildfires. so, a lot of things to watch here as we start out this
morning, taking a live look outside in san jose. all clear skies, with a new wildfire in the south county and the santa cruz mountains. it has spread smoke into the morning. right now, cool temperatures, especially in the north bay that continue to monitor the conditions there with those wildfires burning in sonoma and napa counties. now, a new wildfire around santa cruz. looking at our temperature today, it's still fairly warm. warmer than where we should be for this time of year and our temperatures reaching into the low 80s. for the east bay, up to 83 degrees in walnut creek. oakland, expect a high of 75 and mid-70s. also, the peninsula, 75. 70 on the embarcadero. low 80s on the north bay. it comes down a few degrees from yesterday. but, still, fairly warm for this time of year. the good news is we have calm winds. it's not fanning those flames and creating high wind gusts.
the wind shifting directions may make the spread of the wildfires more unpredictable, starting out, coming from the north, that brings in lower humidity and it starts to shift on shore, bringing slightly higher humidity as we go into this evening and the good news there, once again, is that we won't see high wind gusts today. it stays mainly light at about 5-10 miles an hour as we go into this evening. we still have some dangerous air quality, especially in the north bay. moderate for the rest of the bay area. i wouldn't be surprised in the santa clara valley, now that we have a wildfire burning, it goes to unhealthy. as we go into the day tomorrow, start to see a shift of on shore winds and more humidity. then we'll be tracking the chance of rain. the highest chance will be in the north bay starting late thursday night and continuing to fizzle out as it moves elsewhere into the bay area. north of the golden gate bridge is where we could see the best
chance of rain looking at one computer model and how much rain we could see, it shows a tenth inch of rain. compare it to yesterday when we were expecting a quarter inch of rain. it looks lower now. unfortunately, things may be drying out here, but we are still hopeful for this chance of rain, higher humidity and cooler temperatures. in san francisco, we are only going to see those highs in the low 60s, starting tomorrow and friday. for the inland areas, expect a high temperature to cool off as well. still fairly dry today. low relative humidity. winds increasing for tomorrow as we await for that approach of the cold front, then that will bring us showers on thursday into friday. mike is checking in on the route around that fire. >> that's right, kari. highway 17 and highway 9. those highways are open for business as they have been. we have a fire zone for the bear fire between those two highways. we are talking the evacuation
zones. kris listed a number of them off. favre road may be restricted getting out of the area because of the washout from last rainy season. brookdale, there's a washout there. locals will know more about the restrictions. so far, it hasn't affected the evacuation access to the evacuation center. the slowing because of the caltrains crew. we are going to urge you, if you see the flashing lights, make way for the vehicles getting to the scene. we are talking local road closures. kris listed a bunch, but here are others. bear creek, deer creek road. we are talking about portions closed as well. this is a full list listed online and we have tweeted it out. still, a smooth drive for 17 over the summit. i want to zoom out and show the rest of the commute.
580, westbound, there is a crash there blocking one lane. that is a big slowdown for the tri-valley as well. typical restrictions that continue for north bay fire zone. back to you. >> thank you very much, mike. right now, mandatory evacuations are under way in bear creek canyon. this is a map of the location we are talking about here. it is burning southwest of saratoga and los gas toews and north of ben lomond and glen arbor road. the flames strung up overnight as a structure fire. we know at least one building was destroyed. this is at deer creek road and bear creek road, itd quickly spread to the brush and the forest. >> we have it there. you can see those flames shooting up. i mean, just amazing to see this kind of video. this is the thing that forced more than 150 evacuations in that area. we can tell you, 125 acres have burned because of that fire that, as kris said, started as a
structure fire and quickly spread to vegetation. we can tell you the official evacuation center is the boulder creek elementary school. if you need a place to go or know someone, they can go there to the boulder creek elementary school. those reverse 911 calls started going out to people around 11:30 last night. that's when people decided to get out. many people said they saw the flames shooting 30-40 feet into the air and felt they needed to go. this is now being called the bear fire. that is something we are gefting from cal fire right now. again, crews from chp as well as santa clara, santa cruz, they are all fights to get this fire under control as well as block off those areas. >> we heard from jim ross less than an hour ago. here is what he had to say about the road closures. >> right now, we are working on assisting cal fire in
evacuations in the bear creek road area. >> reporter: okay. and, so, how many evacuations do we have right now? >> at this point, approximately 150 evacuations. >> reporter: okay. what areas are affected at the present time? >> deer creek road, rons road, bear creek canyon. >> reporter: okay. you guys have mutual aid from other agencies helping you with hard closures and road closures? >> we do. we have california highway patrol assisting with e vkuations as well. >> reporter: i'm sure highway 9 is shut down midway from 17 to boulder creek. is that about right? >> that's correct. >> reporter: coming north, up into the area would be shut down somewhere as well. do you know where that is? >> bear creek road is shut down as well. >> reporter: okay. do you have any advice for
anybody in the outlying areas or the general area? >> respect the closures. cal fire is working hard to deal with the fire and to secure the area and to provide assistance for evacuations and security. >> reporter: okay. and, do you expect -- i'm assuming we'll have extended closures from where we are at. do you know what areas need to be aware of that? >> at this point, i don't know. we are the northern tip of the santa cruz mountains. depends on the progress we make with the fire. >> that is lieutenant jim ross. you can hear the chainsaws in the background. we know cal fire crews are trying to build a fire break. they have bull douzers out there. they can't fly the aircraft until first light. that is heavy equipment. stay out of the area and let them through if you don't have business there. >> evacuees are at boulder creek
elementary school. we spoke with eric earlier this morning. listen in. >> we'll keep it open as long as the people need to be here. we'd like to start school tomorrow morning, but if arrangements need to be made, we'll make them. we don't have a lot to offer but a warm building. we'll try to get coffee and water and make them comfortable. >> at this point, that man said there were 10, 15 people around 4:00 this morning when we went on the air with you. this is a look at the evacuation center, the boulder creek elementary school. some folks came out once they got the reverse 911 call and saw the flames and couldn't make it to boulder creek elementary school, so they went down a hill, black road and gathering in a parking lot not far away, waiting for information. we are putting this up because we know they are not near their televisions. it is on www.nbcbayarea.com and
social media as well. if you have friends you are trying to help relay information to, that's where they can find that information. 150 people under mandatory evacuation orders. we know that we are going to be talking with them a little bit later. here is one woman who says she was awoken at midnight by a friend who says the sheriff's department was in town. >> a friend came to and he said the sheriff is here. the sheriff is here? i didn't do anything wrong, honest. people here welcomed me, very nice men. set up chairs, put it over here because he said it was the warmest part of the room. being that i'm an old lady, i get special treatment. i brought a complete change of clothes. i have a vest and a jacket on. so, yeah, i'm set. >> she did the right thing and
got herself ready to be out of her house, at least for a day. >> it is 5:52. we want to go now to the north bay fires and get you caught up on the latest numbers there. cal fire says the tubbs fire is now 75% contained. the atlas fire is at 70% containment. the nuns fire is 53% contained. together, the three fires have burned almost 140,000 acres since last monday. the number of wildfire deaths across northern california stands at 41. that now includes the driver of a water truck who died in a crash yesterday in oakville. sonoma county thor ties say 88 people are reported missing and not accounted for. this morning, fire crews may try to set backfires to try to contain the wildfire threat in the kenwood area. crews say they will only set the backfires if conditions are perfect. that's at sugar loaf state park. also happening today, one of the north bay hospitals that shut
down during last week's fire storm is due to reopen. they had to evacuate 77 patients in the early hours of the fire. some of them in the doctors and nurses own car. it was in the fire's direct path t. re-opening is scheduled for 7:00 this morning. coming up on "today in the bay," santa cruz fire continues to burn 125 acres as people are forced to evacuate their homes. we will continue to follow this fire as well as updates on the north bay. more to come on "today in the bay" at 5:54.
we will have a new breaking bit of information. this is very difficult news. bob redell is there on the scene. he says it is possible that a firefighter may have fallen about 50 feet in the santa cruz wildfire fire fight. we have josh rubenstein from krcal fire on the phone. have you heard from crews in the santa cruz mountains? >> caller: i have not heard intelligence from the folks fighting that fire, no. >> would it be difficult to believe a firefighter could have fallen 50 feet given the terrain they deal with in the santa cruz mountains? >> caller: it doesn't matter
what geographical area a firefighter is working in, the work is hard, they are working in very, very steep terrain a lot of time and it's not uncommon to have a fall or a significant injury. we obviously try to avoid that at all costs, but things do happen, unfortunately. >> talk to us about the stress of all firefighters throughout the state right now. this is a very trying time with everything going on in the north bay and things in san diego. i mean, this has been a stressful time for cal fire and many firefighters throughout the state. >> caller: absolutely. the first thing is, firefighters are very, very resilient and mission focused. they do this for a reason and want to help members of the community. there are 14 or 15 fires that are currently going on in the state of california right now, alone. fire season started in may. there are fires in oregon that folks from california participated in. the number of fire that is
occurred up and down the state require participation from a lot of agencies, not just cal fire. we have a unified structure for lack of a better term, a mutual aid system. this is not the first fire. unfortunately, it's probably not going to be the last. fire season in california is a year round occurrence now. >> i have a question for you about the mutual aid situation. we have been talking to you about the north bay wildfires. so many resources were funneled up to napa and sonoma county. now we have this fire in the santa cruz mountain. what is the way you make your you have people in place to deal with the situations even as folks are funneled for mutual aid? >> caller: there's a matrix that is followed by the powers to be, if you will, in a location not on any one particular fire. it's well orchestrated. there are trigger points in which seven units would not come
to northern california and vice versa. we utilize resources from outside the state of california. central sonoma fire, we have access from oregon, washington, idaho. in those, there are programs, for lack of a better term, preplanned and designated. when we have to draw down, for lack of a better term, draw down and pull assets. >> i expect we'll likely see assets redirected back to the santa cruz mountains. thank you so much. we will check in with you later this morning. >> caller: you're very welcome. >> we continue now with "today in the bay." our breaking news coverage out of the santa cruz mountains and that fire fight that continues now. mandatory evacuation