People were relaxing in their Loma Prieta homes on a hot September day when the intense late summer heat started a raging wildfire near residential areas. Witnesses of the fire claimed that the first thing to spark their curiosity was the smell of smoke and pretty soon it is rising up in the distance, causing alarm. After many spoke with their neighbors and panicked over the rising flames, evacuations began. Emergency responding crew shouted from the road, and soon everyone was driving away with only the most essential belongings and memories they could collect from their house.
The Loma Prieta fire broke out on September 26, 2016 around three o’clock, and not soon after, parts of the Santa Clara County were getting evacuation orders. CAL Fire is unsure of the cause of the fire, but it is under investigation. There is currently 1,964 firefighters on the scene and while last Thursday, September 29, the forest fire was 22% contained, they were able to raise it to 88% by the following Monday.
The destruction, however, was unfortunate. Twelve residences were destroyed along with sixteen other buildings. Over the course of the past week, since the fire started, 325 structures have been threatened. It has burned 4, 474 acres off Loma Prieta Road Northwest of Morgan Hill.
An adult in the valley who knew a family that had to be evacuated early in the week due to the danger of the growing fire. She said, “They had to run around gathering all their photos and important paperwork, and of course- the cat.”
With the current fire danger at “very high” in the recent weeks, the Loma fire was able to burn steadily on brush and timber litter. It is burning in an area with steep inaccessible terrain making the task for all those involved even more difficult. Twenty-eight fire crews with forty-seven fire engines are being used for continuous work- with three helicopters, eight dozers, and fifteen water tenders as extra equipment. The Loma Prieta fire is growing, but not without a fight from the firefighters working to save homes and communities.
By Katherine McCormick