Hill - A blaze has consumed 5,200 acres in and around Henry W. Coe
State Park, destroyed an out-building and is threatening cabins to the
south, park officials said.
The Lick Fire, as it has been labeled
by fire officials, started in the rolling hills east of Morgan Hill at
1:45pm Monday and charred 50 acres behind Findley Ridge within 45
minutes thanks to a stiff wind and ample dry brush within the park, a
CalFire dispatcher reported. As of 7am today, the fire was only 10
percent contained, was being fought by almost 1,200 firefighters and
was expected to char about 10,000 acres by Tuesday night.
fire burned a park out-building Monday night and threatens five more
park buildings and 10 cabins near Poverty Flat, CalFire public
information officer Herman Dekruyff said. Park and fire officials
evacuated people in the area and three park rangers and their families.
They also closed the park and portions of East Dunne Avenue and
If the fire spreads west, it could threaten
homes in the Holiday Lakes Estate area, which are perched atop the dry
hills, surrounded by trees and other vegetation.
fire has been difficult because the park's terrain is steep and curvy,
dispatchers said. This makes the blaze more dangerous for firefighters
and more difficult to bring vehicles into the area.
"The small (fire engines) aren't doing much," Dekruyff said. "The helicopters aren't really doing much either."
afternoon, CalFire is bringing in a DC-10 plane that can drop 12,000
gallons of water on the flames in hopes of scorching the fast moving
fire, he said.
CalFire has set up a base camp in Gilroy's
Christmas Hill Park, from where smoke could be seen billowing up into
the blue sky Monday. The dark cloud, carried north by the wind, was
visible across the Bay Area.
The last major fire close to
Morgan Hill was the 2002 Croy fire, which burned 3,000 acres over seven
days, destroying 34 homes and damaging others. The cause of the fire is
still under investigation.
If you have photos of or information
about the fire, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-7037.
Marilyn Dubil contributed reporting to this article.