(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) — Evacuations remained underway for hundreds of residents near California’s Santa Cruz Mountains Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle the fast-moving Loma blaze.
The fire, which started Monday around 3 p.m., had scorched at least 1,000 acres and was 5 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit earlier Tuesday.
Record-breaking, triple-digit heat in addition to California’s drought helped fuel the blaze, driving the flames from just a spark to more than 3 square miles Monday. More than 500 firefighters were working around the clock, with more on the way.
“After dark, as we’re fighting fire in unfamiliar terrain — with obviously dangers of the fire itself and the movement of the fire — it definitely presents a considerable amount of danger to us, you know, besides just that firefighting aspect,” Capt. Christopher Salcido told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.
Mandatory evacuation orders were announced for Little Uvas and Croy roads, according to KGO-TV. Cal Fire said that 300 structures were threatened. The National Weather Service radar station was forced to shutter after flames started lapping near the building.
One firefighter was reportedly injured and Cal Fire said that two homes had been destroyed.
“I’m a little nervous,” Mary Lindsay told SFGate.com. “I can see all the smoke billowing up from the fire.”
The fire’s cause remained under investigation.
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