Wildfire in Santa Cruz Mountains destroys four structures, displaces 150 households

THE MERCURY NEWS REPORTS:

As residents evacuated the area around Bear Creek Canyon Road early Tuesday, fire crews from around the state descended on the Bear Fire, preparing to send air tankers and helicopters to help contain the blaze.

By late morning, the fire burned 152 acres of what officials called “critically dry fuel,” and five firefighters were injured traversing the steep and narrow Santa Cruz Mountain paths. As of 10:30 a.m., the fire was 5 percent contained, and its growth had drastically decreased.

“It hasn’t moved that much,”  said Rob Sherman, assistant chief for the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit.

At least 250 firefighters are contributing to the firefighting effort, though the air-based water and fire-retardant drops officials were hoping for have been inhibited by the smoke patterns from the blaze. Only three of the six requested air-support units have made it through.

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