Emergency authorities have opened an evacuation resource center in Morgan Hill for those who face evacuation orders or warnings due to the current wildfires. The resource center is at Sobrato High School, 401 Burnett Ave., and is staffed by the American Red Cross.
At about 9:45pm Aug. 19, CalFire issued an evacuation warning to areas “east of Anderson Lake, East of Coyote Creek, East of Coyote Reservoir, East of Roop Road, East of Leavesley Road, East of Crews Road” and “East and North of Hwy 152.” These areas cover vast sections of unincorporated Morgan Hill and Gilroy in east Santa Clara County.
The evacuation warnings and orders are in response to the SCU Lightning Complex fire, which has burned more than 137,000 acres of vegetation as of Aug. 20, CalFire has said. More than 6,000 structures are threatened by the fire, which was ignited Aug. 16 by lightning strikes from thunderstorms.
The latest evacuation orders include areas of east San Jose, south of Metcalf Road and just west of the Merced County line.
The Lightning Complex fire is burning in portions of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. Henry W. Coe State Park has been forced to close the entire park to visitors due to the encroaching wildfire.
The evacuation resource center at Sobrato High School is the second such facility that authorities have opened since the fires began displacing Santa Clara County residents. Another evacuation resource center was opened Aug. 19 at the Milpitas Library.
The resource centers serve to assess the needs of individuals and families impacted by the evacuations and determine appropriate resources, says a press release from the county’s Emergency Operations Center. It is not a shelter but serves to assist residents with temporary housing.
All residents under an evacuation order are urged to take rapid action and leave the area immediately ahead of the fast-moving and unpredictable wildfire.
Multiple wildfires are burning in the Central Coast region and beyond. The River Fire is burning south of Salinas at about 33,000 acres and growing as of Aug. 20, according to CalFire. The CZU August fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has burned about 40,000 acres. Neither of these fires is significantly contained.
An information hotline and website are also available for Santa Clara County residents seeking information about available resources. The hotline can be reached at (408) 808-7778 and is for evacuees only, not general fire information. General fire information is available online at http://bit.ly/LightningComplex-SCC.