Fire Information Links

posted in: Wildfire Risk and Safety | 1


I realize that we are getting a fair number of links and the list itself needs to be categorized (eg, Air Quality; CZU fire update; Phone Notifications; etc.  etc.   –  I’m working on that between other non-paying jobs)


If you have to evacuate, shut off the gas; put full water buckets around your house if you can; put a ladder up against the roof for the firemen; leave the windows and doors unlocked (that’s what they say!); leave the lights on so that firemen can see inside (and see the house when it’s nighttime).







Evacuation Area is the Orange Color - Yellow is the evacuation warning area
Note this is from a link to the Los Altos Town Crier. Update 8/24, 9:00 a.m.: In a briefing early Monday morning, CalFire officials said that an evacuation warning was issued on Sunday night (Aug. 23) for areas adjacent to Los Altos Hills due to the CZU Lightning Complex fire out of an “abundance of caution” ahead of potential thunderstorms and dry lightning coming into the region. I note this due to the proximity to Los Gatos of the warning area.  No need to panic, just stay alert.  Our “Go Bags” are packed and loaded so that we don’t have to “think” if the evacuation order is given.



Links to Fire Information:

From: Evan Abate – Los Gatos CERT (Civic Center)

Some ways to stay informed on the CZU Lightning Complex fire. First and foremost, do not take this information as official advice! I am just sharing some of the ways I use in order to be constantly updated on the status of the current CZU Lightning Complex fire that is burning in San Mateo County and Santa Cruz County (or really any fire).

1) Twitter: I use Twitter to stay up to date on the latest evacuation warnings, evacuation orders, incident updates (i.e. acreage, containment, summary, etc.), road closures, weather, as well as pictures/videos of the fire. Specifically for this incident, I suggest following these accounts: @CALFIRECZU, @CHPscrz, @CAFireScanner, @NWSBayArea, @sccfiredept, @LGMSPolice, @TownLG, @calfireSCU, @PGE4Me, and @jadenschaul (photojournalist). @CAFireScanner and @jadenschaul do not provide official information and should not be treated as such but they do provide very good information to personally consider.

2) County of San Mateo and County of Santa Cruz Evacuation Map. This map advertised and updated by both counties to provide current evacuation *warnings* and current evacuation *orders*. (The website may be slow due to the number of people trying to access it and may not be mobile friendly)

3) PG&E Weather Map. This map shows wind speeds, gusting speeds, and a visual of the wind directions.


4) PurpleAir Air Quality Map. This map shows air quality indexes at a multitude of locations so it should be easy to find out what the air quality is like in your area. Good air quality is between 0 and 50. Unhealthy is between 151 and 200.


5) ALERT Wildfire Camera System. This website gives access to hundreds of live cameras (~15 second delay) positioned within California and some neighboring states. These cameras are being used for the following: “Providing access to state-of-the-art Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders: (1) discover/locate/confirm fire ignition, (2) quickly scale fire resources up or down appropriately, (3) monitor fire behavior through containment, (4) during firestorms, help evacuations through enhanced situational awareness, and (5) ensure contained fires are monitored appropriately through their demise.” The CZU Lightning Complex fire can be seen in the “South & East Bay” region and on the “Bonny Doon”, “Black Mtn SCC”, “Mt Rodoni”, “Cupertino Hills”, and “Jasper Ridge Bio Presv” cameras.


6) PulsePoint App and Web Client. PulsePoint is an app available for smartphones that allows you to follow fire departments and see emergency activity in real time.
Note: not all fire departments are connected with
PulsePoint (Santa Clara County Fire Department IS connected with PulsePoint). In addition, if selected in the app, PulsePoint will alert you if someone in your immediate
vicinity needs CPR.
Link to web client:

7) PG&E Electrical Outage Map. PG&E provides an electrical outage map where you can view locations to see if there is an electrical outage. It shows information like size of outage (on map visual), number of affected customers, start time of outage, estimated restoration of power, possible reason for outage, and the status of the outage. If your power is out and you do not have access to the internet, you can call PG&E @ 1 (800) 743-5002.

8) CAL FIRE Incident Map. This map shows all CAL FIRE Incidents within the state of California along with information like acreage and containment.


Again, do not take this information as official advice! Use these resources to gain a better understanding of what these fires are all about. I WILL advise you to read the official information coming from agencies like CAL FIRE (specifically the San Mateo and Santa Cruz Unit – CZU) as well as our own fire department, Santa Clara County Fire Department, on this CZU Lightning Complex fire.

Now is an especially great time to start thinking about emergency preparedness! The Santa Clara County Fire Department has a program called “Ready, Set, Go” that talks about ways to be prepared for wildfire. It discusses defensible space around property, hardening your home, having a plan, creating an emergency supply kit, preparing for evacuation, and what to do when wildfire strikes.

I can’t stress enough the importance of heeding evacuation warnings and orders from law enforcement and fire departments. If you receive an evacuation WARNING, it means that evacuations are very likely and you should prepare to leave. If you receive an evacuation ORDER, you should not delay and leave ASAP. This is why having a plan and being prepared is so important, if there is an evacuation warning or order, you are already ready to go.



From Jak @CERT Los Gatos (Civic Center)


Did you know that as of this writing (8/23/20 – 3:47 pm) there are 19 active fires within 50 miles of Los Gatos?  Did you know that the warning of possible evacuation is now at Lexington Reservoir?
get information on fire incidents near you from Cal Fire

To get alerts to you phone in Santa Clara County

Alert SCC:

Nixel:  notices for your zip code:   text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Cal Fire-Preparation Site
 air quality – smoke map

road conditions ( think you can still dial 511 on your phone and get road conditions)

The dangers of Asbestos in Wildfires  from Nicole Matson

From Michael Parker  Cert Los Gatos (Civic Center)

This site has soooo much information.,36.968,-122.527,8

More air quality.  Be careful…  One of the sensors is inside the LG High gym and always seems higher than outside…

This one helps me visualize where the fire is (but the site appears to be broken)


  1. Rick Van Hoesen

    Regarding the Michael Parker’s air quality link to PurpleAir, it is possible to “hide” indoor sensors like the one at the LGHS gym. You can do this by unchecking “Inside Sensors” in the popup in the lower left of the web page. Or you can just click on this link:

    You may also want to select “LRAPA” rather than “none” in the area under “Conversion.” This purports to normalize the results to make them more consistent with official government air sensors. Details on the LRAPA conversion are available if you click the question mark next to “Conversion.” To see the map with the LRAPA conversion enabled, click this link:

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