water resources san benito county, hollister california, drought conditions, conservation measures

North SB County under evacuation warning

SCU Complex fire has burned more than 137,000 acres

Several residents in north San Benito County might be affected by the SCU Lightning Complex Fire as the blaze continues to grow farther south. 

CalFire announced Aug. 20 that it has issued an “Evacuation Warning” for areas bordering Santa Clara County. The areas include south of Highway 152 to the San Benito County Line, north of the San Benito County Line to Highway 152, east of Lovers Lane and the Santa Clara County line and west of the Merced County line. 

Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez posted on his Facebook account that there is currently no evacuation order in San Benito County.

“If you live along the Hillsides please make sure to clear brush and have defensible space around any structures,” he said in his post. “As I get more information I will let everyone know.  Stay safe and thank you.”

CalFire is stressing that this is an Evacuation Warning and more information will follow as it becomes available. Residents in the warning area are urged to be ready to leave in case the blaze grows closer. 

The SCU Lightning Complex is approximately 20 separate fires broken into three zones; the Canyon Zone, the Calaveras Zone and the Deer Zone. According to CalFire, the fires continue to burn in steep, rugged terrain and are influenced by extreme temperatures along with low relative humidity. 

There are 21 crews and 1,036 fire personnel assigned to help fight the blaze. There have been two confirmed injuries. 

Some of the terrain has little to no fire history with decadent fuels conducive to extreme fire growth, according to CalFire. Poor humidity recovery was observed again overnight with little or no recovery from 10-20 percent. 

Fire perimeter and control efforts have been hampered by extreme fire behavior and accessibility issues. Crews will continue to scout for safe access points to build direct and indirect fire lines wherever possible. 

The incident is in need of critical resources to protect sensitive wildlife along with the critical power and communication infrastructure throughout the area, according to CalFire.

For more information about the SCU Complex fire, visit the incident page on CalFire’s website. 

For information about how to prepare your household for a wildfire, visit ready.gov.