Lockheed Fire Fight Far From Complete

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Firefighter Nick Milton hikes the steep terrain in Swanton, Calif., where the 2,000 acre Lockheed Fire has spread on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2009. A fire burning in Northern California has forced officials to order hundreds of residents to leave their homes in the mountains north of Santa Cruz. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Dan Coyro)

    Hundreds of firefighters remain in the Santa Cruz Mountains this week, snuffing out hot spots from the Lockheed Fire.
         
    Although the blaze was contained on Sunday, Cal Fire still has 427 people assigned to the fire area, which consists of deep woods and steep slopes, spokeswoman Angela Bernheisel said today.

    "We're probably going to be doing this mop-up and patrol for several weeks," she said.

    The Lockheed Fire charred more than 7,800 acres, destroying one outbuilding and damaging 13 more, Cal Fire officials said.

    The blaze caused the temporary evacuation of about 2,400 people from homes in the Bonny Doon, Swanton and Davenport communities.

    According to the latest Cal Fire figures, firefighting efforts have cost $26.6 million so far. Eleven firefighters received minor injuries  fighting the blaze, according to Bernheisel.

    Investigators have been at the site since the fire was first reported Aug. 12. Cal Fire has not yet released any information on what might  have caused the fire, Bernheisel said.

    Current forecasts for warmer temperatures and winds mean crews will be particularly vigilant in patrolling for hot spots, she said.

    Cal Fire is asking residents to be alert for additional fire activity or large amounts of smoke. The agency is staffing a Lockheed Fire information line at 831-335-0378 and is asking residents to report any such sightings. Some smoke lingers in the air as crews continue working to control  the fire.

    Smoldering brush and stumps may persist, so residents should be cautious when walking in or around the burned areas.

    Cal Fire crews on patrol after the 2008 Summit Fire still found hot spots three months after the blaze, she said. The Summit Fire burned 4,200 acres and destroyed 35 homes in an area to the east of where the Lockheed Fire burned.

    Bay City News