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Wildfire Information & Recovery Resources: Bay Area Fire Emergencies

links to information about the 2020 CZU Lightning Wildfire & the SCU Lightning Wildfires in the Bay Area

Emergency Alerts

This page collects links to resources for the people in Santa Clara County in particular -- but  many of these links can guide people in other parts of California to needed resources.

Everyone should sign up for emergency alerts by phone (cell or landline), email, or other mobile device, if possible. Here are details for Santa Clara County emergency alerts:

For up-to-date information on wildfires across California, see:


For explanation of red flag & fire weather warnings, and how to avoid sparking wildfires, see:

Updates on Wildfires

On September 27, 2020 the Class Fire ignited, and is currently growing in Napa and Sonoma counties. Evacuation warnings and orders have been announced for the cities of Calistoga and Santa Rosa, and for other areas in those counties. Smoke from those areas is affecting the air quality in the Bay Area counties.

Storms overnight August 16-17, 2020 saw literally thousands of lightning strikes throughout the Bay Area region and Northern California. By August 18 sparks from those strikes had ignited over 360 wildfires. Some collected to form major threats in the region: 

  • SCU Lightning Complex (Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, & Merced Counties) - 98% contained as of Sept. 19.
  • LNU Lightning Complex (Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Yolo, & Solano Counties) - 98% contained as of Sept. 16.
  • CZU Lightning Complex (Santa Cruz, & San Mateo Counties) - 100% contained as of Sept. 23.
  • River Fire, Carmel Fire, & Dolan Fire (Monterey County) - River Fire 71% contained as of Sept. 28; the others 100% contained as of Sept. 4.
  • August Complex (Mendocino County) - 45% contained as of Sept. 28.


How Bad is the Air Quality?

Smoke and particles in the air can cause serious health problems to both people and pets, and unfortunately just smelling smoke isn't enough to tell whether breathing outside air is dangerous. Here are links to air quality tracking  and advisory websites:

Different methods used to calculate air quality give us different numbers, and it can be confusing. This article helps to explain why - and suggests how to find the best resource for your location.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Office advises people who are most at-risk from poor air quality (older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with chronic respiratory and heart conditions) to:

  • Stay inside as much as possible, with doors and windows closed. If it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, or if you are especially sensitive to smoke, consider moving to a cooling center for awhile.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise outside.
  • Avoid using indoor pollutants like candles, gas stoves, and fireplaces.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If you can, use a properly-sized portable air cleaner to help remove particulate matter from indoor air.
  • Contact your healthcare team if you're having a difficult time breathing.

Direct Relief Organizations

As of September 8, 2020, evacuations for the CZU and SCU have been lifted. That doesn't mean that all is back to normal for the people and places affected by these fires.The emergency hotline is still io operation for people ordered to evacuate from locations in Santa Clara County : 408-808-7778

People who need help can also contact

   In Santa Clara County:

   In San Mateo County:

To Help Out

These nonprofit organizations are pooling funds and donations for fire relief:

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