Brendan Weber

Crews Reach 79 Percent Containment as Fight Against Bear Fire Nears One Week

What to Know

  • At least 391 acres burned; 79 percent contained
  • Four unknown structures destroyed
  • Evacuation orders still in place to be lifted Monday morning

The 391-acre Bear Fire that has been burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains for nearly one week is now 79 percent contained, Cal Fire announced Sunday afternoon.

"We're somewhat scaling down now that the fire is calming down," Cal Fire Division Chief Angela Bernheisel said on Saturday. "We want to put this thing to bed."

Evacuation orders are still in effect for Bear Creek Canyon Road, Deer Creek Road, Rons Road, Dons Road, and their tributary streets in the fire area, but those orders will be lifted at 8 a.m. on Monday, according to Cal Fire.

Road closures remain in place for Deer Creek Road, Bear Creek Canyon Road, Hartman Creek Road, Dons Lane and Rons Lane.

The fire started late Monday and has consumed four structures. It has also resulted in nine injuries as firefighters not only battle the flames, but also work against the rugged and steep terrain.

Five firefighters, including an inmate firefighter, all suffered minor injuries  while working the fire lines on Tuesday, according to Cal Fire. Two more firefighters on Wednesday were transported to hospitals, one after suffering second-degree burns to his hands and the other also suffering from unspecified burn injuries, fire officials said. 

One of those hurt was Andy Goodson from the Santa Clara unit. He fell 50 feet while on the front lines of the fire. As of Friday, he is hospitalized but expected to be OK, according to Cal Fire. 

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An investigation into what sparked the blaze is still in the works.

Towering flames could be seen ripping through dense vegetation and devouring trees right after the fire started before they were eventually suppressed by fire crews on the ground and in the air.

The Zayante Fire Station, which is located at 7700 E. Zayante St. in Felton, was designated as an evacuation center for those impacted by the fire. Another evacuation center was opened at Lakeside Elementary School — 19620 Black Road — in Los Gatos.

Those displaced by the fire can call 1-866-272-2237 for additional accommodations.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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