Santa Cruz County Fire Updates and Resources

Updated Sept 18, 2020 at 11:20 a.m.

Latest Information

As of 7am on September 18th, the CZU Lightning Complex fire has burned 86,509 acres and is currently at 97% containment, according to CalFire’s latest update. In San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, 3,601 structures are threatened, 925 structures have been destroyed, and 90 residences have been damaged. Damage inspection is now 100% completed. 999 people remain evacuated.

There is minimal fire in the majority of the fire area. Crews continue to mop up and control hot spots throughout the fire area in an effort to support repopulation efforts. Hazards, like compromised trees still exist in the area. Take action immediately when wildfire strikes, visit www.readyforwildfire.org and GO! when asked to evacuate.

View Our Prior Update to Regarding The Fires

Current Suspension of Instructional Programs

Several districts and charter schools have made the decision to suspend instructional programs as a result of this dynamic situation. Families can expect to hear from their school district about the status of their child’s school and what services will be provided to them. In making the determination of whether to close schools, individual school districts are taking into account multiple metrics that include:

  • Air quality
  • Number of staff impacted by evacuations
  • Number of students who are unable to access their learning program
  • If school campus is within an evacuation zones 
  • Power outages
  • Impact of closure on feeder school districts

The following school districts have announced suspension of instructional programs due to fires based on the metrics listed above:

  • Pacific Elementary School District
  • Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District (through Sept. 21)
  • San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (through Sept. 7th)
  • Scotts Valley Unified School District (through Sept. 7th)

Free or Low Cost Food Distribution Sites During the Week of Aug. 24-28:

The following school locations will be providing free and/or low cost grab and go lunches for students. Families who have been displaced by the fires may access food service from any of the following locations. Please be sure to wear a mask upon pick up and observe physical distancing when visiting the sites..

  • Natural Bridges High School, 255 Swift Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060. Lunch pick up from 12-12:30pm. M-F.
  • Sequoia High School, 229 Green Valley Rd., Freedom, CA. Lunch pick up from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 pm. M-F.
  • New Brighton Middle School, 250 Washburn Ave, Capitola CA 95010. Lunch pick up is from 7:30am – 10:00 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary, 8005 Winkle Ave, Santa Cruz CA 95065. Lunch pick up is from 7:30am – 10:00 a.m., Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Soquel Elementary School, 2700 Porter St., Lunch pick up is from 7:30am – 10:00 a.m. M, W, & F.
  • Aptos Junior High, 1001 Huntington Dr. Aptos, CA 95003. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Valencia Elementary School, 250 Aptos School Rd., Aptos CA 95003. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Amesti Elementary School, 25 Amesti Rd., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Ann Soldo School, 1140 Menasco Dr. Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Calabasas Elementary School, 202 Calabasas Rd., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Cesar Chavez School, 440 Arthur Rd., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • E.A. Hall Middle School, 201 Brewington Ave., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F. Second Harvest Food Bank is also offering free groceries at this site.
  • Freedom Elementary School, 25 Holly Drive, Freedom CA 95019. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F. Second Harvest Food Bank is also offering free groceries to families at this site.
  • Hall District Elementary School, 300 Sill Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Lakeview Middle School, 2350 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Pajaro Middle School, 250 Salinas Rd., Pajaro CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Pajaro Valley High School, 500 Harkins Slough Rd., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Starlight Elementary School, 225 Hammer Dr., Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am.
  • Watsonville High School, 250 E. Beach Street, Watsonville CA 95076. Lunch pick up is from 7am-10am. M-F.
  • Live Oak Elementary School, 1916 Capitola Rd., Santa Cruz CA 95062. 8am – 11am. Tuesdays and Fridays. Includes food for weekends.
  • Delaveaga Elementary School, 1145 Morrissey Blvd, Santa Cruz CA 95060. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.
  • Harbor High School, 300 La Fonda Ave, Santa Cruz CA 95062. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.
  • Bayview Elementary School, 1231 Bay St., Santa Cruz CA 95062. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.
  • Gault Elementary School, 1320 Seabright Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 95062. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.
  • Soquel High School, 400 Old San Jose Rd., Soquel CA 95073. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.
  • Tannery Arts Complex, 1010 River Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am -12:30pm.

Local Evacuation Shelters

A Fire Resource Assistance Center is open at 140 Front Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060.

Evacuees should first seek shelter with friends and family. The current evacuation map is here. For information on evacuation accommodations, call 211 or Red Cross at 1-866-272-2237. 

See updated info on evacuation centers, which are full, which have space.

  • Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA.
  • Santa Cruz Fairgrounds, 2601 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA.
  • Santa Cruz Seventh Day Adventist Camp Grounds, 1931 Soquel San Jose Rd.
  • Cabrillo College Gymnasium, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA
  • Simpkins Family Swim Center, 17th Ave., Santa Cruz (ADA ONLY)
  • Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive.
  • Parking lot grounds of Coastlands Aptos Foursquare Church, 280 State Park Drive, Aptos. Open to cars, RV’s, and tents. (limited tents available on site).
  • Lakeview Middle School, 2350 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville, CA 95076
  • Rodeway Inn, 1620 West Beach Street, Watsonville CA 95076
  • Congregational Church Shelter, 300 La Fonda Ave., Santa Cruz

Those impacted by the #CZULightningComplex may be eligible for benefits. Call the Santa Cruz County Human Services Agency benefits toll-free hotline at 888-421-8080. Eligibility restrictions apply.

If you need assistance with evacuating pets and livestock, contact the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Agency at 831.471.1182.  If you have been displaced and need pet supplies, visit the animal shelter at 1001 Rodriguez Street in Santa Cruz for supplies.

The county is asking people with extra capacity to volunteer in-law units, spare bedrooms and even tents for evacuees. 

Visit Santa Cruz County has created a database here of local hotels with capacity for evacuees.  The County of Santa Cruz has compiled hotel information including whether pet friendly or not, here.

Resources to Stay Informed about the CZU Fire:

Student-Family-Behavioral-Health-Support-English-and-Spanish

Where to Donate

Behavioral Health Disaster Support Resources

Student-Family-Behavioral-Health-Support-National-Disaster-Fire-Response

Additional Behavioral Support Resources

Free Internet Connectivity

  • Free drive-up wifi is available at various public locations in the county. Visit a map of free public wifi locations at sccoe.link/wifi