The continuation of favorable weather though Tuesday and overnight allowed firefighters to make progress on the major threats.
Air quality has also improved across the Bay Area, though the easy breathing may not continue unabated in coming days. Officials do caution that warmer weather expected this weekend and into next week could bring new challenges. Area residents should remain cautious and pay attention to local alerts.
As of Wednesday morning, the CZU Complex Fire toward the coast was still at about 80,000 acres burned. Containment was at 19%, up to 17% 24 hours prior. 24,000 structures remain threatened and more than 500 have been destroyed.
“We could see some good news, as far as repopulation, in the very near future” said Mark Brunton of CAL Fire. “The communities of Santa Cruz and the UC Campus are in really good shape”
Officials said they have made major progress on the northeast corner of the blaze, closest to Santa Clara County, overnight.
To the east, the SCU Complex Fire is at 25% containment as of Wednesday morning, up from 15% Tuesday morning. It has burned more than 365,000 acres, putting it as one of the largest in California history.
20,000 structures remain threated by that fire, with 20 destroyed thus far – a sign of its largely rural nature. One zone of the fire, the Deer Zone, is now 100% contained.
“Fire activity has lessened due to favorable weather conditions and increased humidity,” an official report said.