MORGAN HILL, Calif. (AP) — Some evacuations were lifted as cooler weather gave firefighters a boost in their struggle with a wildfire burning through dry brush that was threatening hundreds of structures Thursday in a remote area of California's Santa Cruz Mountains.
Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday for Santa Cruz County, but orders remained in effect for neighboring Santa Clara County, where most of the 300 threatened structures are located, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
The wildfire in steep terrain south of San Jose had charred more than 6 square miles and was 22 percent contained by Thursday morning, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn said.
The blaze broke out Monday during a statewide heat wave that brought witheringly low humidity and temperatures in the upper 90s. A 10-degree drop in temperatures and increased humidity helped fire crews. The cooling trend was expected to last through the week.
The blaze won't be fully contained before next week, officials estimated.
It was among several blazes burning during a time of year when the drought-stricken state sees its largest and most damaging wildfires, state forestry officials said.
The fire gutted at least one home and threatened more than 325 buildings, though it was not clear how many were homes or smaller structures.
The area is dotted with marijuana growing operations, though the number of plants at risk is unclear. When Anthony Lopez returned to check on his home, which was still under an evacuation order, he was overjoyed to find dozens of his marijuana plants intact Tuesday.
Though the vast majority of California's marijuana is planted north of San Francisco, growers still find remote, densely forested land popular places to cultivate pot.
This summer, firefighters in nearby Monterey County rescued several pot farmers trapped for three days by a fast-moving wildfire. The growers said 900 plants were destroyed. No arrests were made after police said the evidence went up in smoke.
North of San Francisco, officials said a grass fire that spread from the side of a highway into a row of homes in Petaluma may have been started by a discarded cigarette. Four homes were destroyed and 10 were damaged.
SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - At least two people were taken to area hospitals after a dispute between neighbors in Chula Vista led to gunfire. Chula Vista Police Department officers responded to the incident near Monterey Avene and E. J Street. in Chula Vista at around 10:28 p.m. One victim was taken to UCSD Medical Center and another was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital. Check back for updates on this breaking news story.
Coronado won't be joining Imperial Beach in its federal lawsuit against the International Water and Boundary Commission, but it will assist its coastal neighbor with legal fees and lobbying with the federal government.
The death toll continues to rise as the result of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked central Mexico on Tuesday.
Travis Wood came up with an outing nothing like his recent ones and he led the San Diego Padres to a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Four City Council members released a new proposal for regulating short-term vacation rental properties in San Diego on Tuesday in an attempt to solve an issue that has vexed city officials and neighbors alike over the last few years.
As part of its combat against the hepatitis A outbreak, the city of San Diego has set up several vaccination sites. Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated food and contact with contaminated people. Good hand hygiene helps prevent contamination, and the vaccines can prevent the illness altogether.
Patients at Rady Children's Hospital have a new way of getting to operating rooms. They can now drive and can choose from a BMW, a Mercedes or a Lamborghini - all battery-powered, of course. It's all thanks to a donation from the San Diego regional law enforcement agencies. News 8's Shawn Styles explains.
A Northern California school board voted unanimously to keep its literature policies following months of controversy over a book about a transgender child that a teacher read to a kindergarten class.
As of Tuesday, you can finally get a whiff of the infamous "Corpse Flower" at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. It attracts crowds because of its strong, terrible smell that can last hours. The flower's bloom will only last for about 2 days. So if you're interested in smelling the unusual specimen, time is running out.