Wildfire smoke obscured visibility near Santa Cruz, California, on Wednesday, August 19, as the CZU Lightning Complex fires grew and forced thousands of evacuations.
The CZU Lightning Complex fires includes several “large lightning-caused fires” burning across San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The fires have merged, collectively burning 40,000 acres, authorities said on Thursday.
This aerial footage, posted by Hayley Carter on Wednesday, shows smoky conditions caused by the CZU Lightning Complex fires. Carter said she had her bags packed “just in case” an evacuation was necessary.
More than 28,000 people have evacuated as of Thursday morning, CAL FIRE said. A travel advisory was issued for Santa Cruz County on Thursday, with officials urging visitors not to come to the area due to fire conditions. Credit: Hayley Carter via Storyful