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October 26, 2020

Central Coast fires begin to clear

Firefighters now have 91% containment on the Dolan Fire in the Big Sur area. It has burned 124,924 acres and destroyed 14 homes. The fire began Aug. 18.

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This morning our reporter Todd Guild and I drove up into the San Lorenzo Valley to Boulder Creek to cover the Environmental Protection Agency and their mammoth clean up operation where the CZU August Lightning Complex fire burned through more than 86,000 acres and destroyed 925 homes. I can’t imagine the crews cleaning up the hazardous sites of that many homes, downed electrical and communication lines, destroyed water and sewer lines and on and on.

On the positive side, it was refreshing to see Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Ben Lomond and other towns rising out of the ashes. Many of the businesses are open, traffic flows easily and most of the smoke has cleared.

I heard that Highway 1 was shut down for a length of time Monday morning around Watsonville and traffic was diverted along Main Street. It stemmed from a car crash early Monday near Riverside Drive at Highway 1.

Also, two men were shot on Walker Street last night in Watsonville. We have a brief story about the shooting on our website and will report more details when they are available.

Police around the state are saying that they are seeing a surge in violence and many of them are attributing that to tension revolving around the pandemic. Kids having to go to school at home, job losses, masks and social restrictions—our normal lives thrown into major disarray—have all added to the tension, police said. Los Angeles has seen a large spike in shooting homicides and gang violence.

The smoke continues to vanish Monday and thank goodness. And the heat is backing off a bit for now. Among other things, I’m seeing more bird activity around my neighborhood as the smoke thins away.

In one of the Northern California wildfires, firefighters managed to rescue a mountain lion cub. Bewildered, its paws slightly burned and its fur looking beaten down, the kitten looked pretty relieved—on TV anyway—to have been saved. Best of luck kitty.

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