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tv   Today  NBC  October 17, 2017 7:00am-9:01am PDT

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school. continuous coverage of this breaking story on we'll see you at 7:25. ♪ good morning. family feud. president trump mending fences with the senate republican leader, sort of, as senator john mccain takes a new swipe. half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems. >> and the president makes a bold, false claim about how past presidents treated families of fallen soldiers. >> most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. >> what the former presidents are saying about that, including one top official who called it a flat-out lie. the clock is ticking. the former hostage held for five years reveals why he and his wife had four children while in the hands of a terror group. this morning, his very honest
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answer to the question so many are asking. tackling the issue. nfl players and owners set to meet today to discuss those controversial national anthem protests. will the league try to force players to stand, or can a compromise be reached? all that, plus florida declares an unusual state of emergency over a planned speech. an intentional crash on a racetrack? leads to a dangerous brawl. a tasing and arrests. and morning exclusive. chip and joanna gains will be here, live, to explain why they're leaving their hit show, "fixer upper," today, tuesday, october 17th, 2017. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie. live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza.
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>> good morning, everybody. it's tuesday morning, and we're glad to have you with us this morning. >> it's a busy tuesday morning. we have a lot to get to, starting with president trump sounding off on a number of issues that are facing his administration. >> he's also igniting a new controversy with former presidents and gold star families. we've got two reports, and we'll start with nbc's chief white house correspondent, hallie jackson, who is on the hill for us this morning. hi, halley, good morning. >> reporter: today the president may have even more to talk about at another news conference after that surprise show of solidarity with mitch mcconnell in the rose garden. it seemed meant partly to show there is no family feud inside the republican party. but now new comments from one of the senate's most familiar faces make for a real rebuke of the president at a time when the gop needs every lawmaker it can get to get something done. overnight, one of the president's frequent foes, firing a thinly veiled shot. senator john mccain, after accepting the prestigious liberty medal award from former vice president joe biden, and
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without mentioning president trump by name, condemned people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems. >> to >> to fear the world we've organized and led for three-kworters of a century, to abandon the kwrlz abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism -- >> reporter: senator mccain going on to call that nationalism unpatriotic. it comes as the gop faces civil war with the president picking both sides. at the white house monday, a tale of two photo ops. >> my relationship with this gentleman is outstanding. has been outstanding. >> reporter: president trump side by side at times hand-in-hand with senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, at an impromptu press conference, a show of solidarity. >> we have the same agenda. we've been friends and acquaintances for a long time.
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contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move america forward. >> we're fighting for the same thing. we're fighting for lower taxes, big tax cuts. the biggest tax cuts in the history of our nation. >> reporter: but just hours earlier, a more frustrated tone. >> i have great relationships with actually many senators. but in particular, with most republican senators. but we're not getting the job done. and i'm not going to blame myself. i'll be honest. they are not getting the job done. >> reporter: that white house whiplash also extending to the president's former top strategist, steve bannon, calling for a season of war against the republican establishment. >> we're going to win, and they're going to lose. >> reporter: the president at first seeming to endorse that. >> i can understand where steve bannon is coming from, and i can understand, to be honest with you, john, i can understand where a lot of people are coming from. >> reporter: later suggesting he would steer steve bannon away from targeting republican incumbents. >> steve is doing what steve thinks is the right thing. the people he may be
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looking at, i'm going to see if we talk him out of that, because frankly, they're great people. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell firing back, suggesting steve bannon's picks won't have broad appeal. >> my goal as the leader of the majority, you have to nominate people who can actually win, because winners make policy and losers go home. >> reporter: president trump and the senate majority leader trying to turn the page on past legislative failures. optimistic tax reform will turn out differently, as both work to get it across the finish line. >> i really believe that we have a very good chance, and i think mitch feels the same way, of getting the taxes done. hopefully fairly long before the end of the year. >> the goal is to get it done this calendar year. >> reporter: so that side by side appearance coming, of course, after months of president trump tweeting about mitch mcconnell and specifically the inability of lawmakers here on capitol hill to do something on, for example, health care. you hear them sound a little more optimistic on tax reform. plenty on the plate for president trump and the republican party when it comes
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to legislative action. but don't forget, there's still that national emergency on an opioid crisis. the president promised more than two months ago. he's now hinting at a major announcement on that next week. savannah? >> all right, hallie jackson on capitol hill starting us off. thank you. as we mentioned, the president is taking heat for something else he said in that rose garden appearance. a false claim that most former presidents did not call the families of fallen service members. and this morning, officials and some of those families are firing back. nbc national correspondent, peter alexander, is at the white house, with that part of the story. peter, take it away. >> reporter: hey, matt, good morning to you. it, of course, is one of the president's gravest obligations, contacting the families of fallen service members. but for president trump, that sober responsibility was the source of an apparent swipe at his predecessors, defending his delay in responding to recent army green beret deaths in niger. president trump deflected before we pressed him on it. on the steps of the rose garden,
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president trump responding to questions about why he had not commented yet on the deaths of four u.s. soldiers in niger, nearly two weeks ago. >> i actually wrote letters individually to the soldiers we're talking about. and they're going to be going out. >> reporter: the president saying he would call the families this week, adding this claim. that his predecessors did not call families of fallen service members. >> if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. a lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. >> reporter: nbc news pressing him on that. >> earlier you said that president obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. how can you make that claim? >> no, no. i was told that he didn't often. and a lot of presidents don't. they write letters. >> you were told that based on what? >> excuse me, peter. i do a combination of both. sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do. but i do a combination of both.
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president obama i think probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn't. i don't know. that's what i was told. >> reporter: the president's assertion igniting a firestorm of criticism. overnight, former attorney general, eric holder tweeting, stop the damn lying. you're the president. i went to dover air force base with 44 and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military and dea. president obama's former deputy chief of staff immediately blasting president trump on twitter. tearing into his claim as an expletive lie. a spokesperson for former president george w. bush says he wrote all the families of the fallen during his presidency. and called or met with hundreds, if not thousands. one woman whose brother was killed in iraq says, quote, president bush listened while i screamed at him and then held me as i sobbed. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders later defending president trump saying he wasn't criticizing his predecessors,
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but, quote, stating a fact. adding individuals claiming former presidents, such as their bosses, calling each family of the fallen are mistaken. press secretary sara sanders said like past president, president trump has called, sent a letter or met with families of the fallen since taking office. as for the four green bough ber families being called, i ask the white house again this morning whether the president's letters have been mailed or calls to the families made but so far no new update. >> peter alexander at the white house. thank you very much. now we go to florida, where governor rick scott has declared a state of emergency ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader. it's planned at the university of florida. the governor says that order will free up resources to
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prepare for possible violence in response to the speech by richard spencer on thursday in gainesville. spencer is the person who helped to organize the august rally in charlottesville, virginia, that led to violent street clashes with counter protesters. in a video message, university of florida president, kent fox, told students to stay away, deny spencer attention and ignore his, quote, message of hate. fox said he was required by law to allow spencer to speak. also this morning, though, there is more to get to, including those catastrophic wildfires in california. they're now being blamed for yet another death. this as some evacuees are being allowed to return home to see if they actually still have a home. nbc's joe fryer is in santa rosa, once again, for us. joe, good morning. >> reporter: matt, good morning. firefighters say they are making progress and hope some of these major fires will be fully contained by week's end. but for this region, the recovery process is just beginning. the fires tearing through northern california have taken another life, a contract firefighter driving a water tanker that overturned on a steep roadway. it's a tragic set back in a battle now entering its ninth day. >> we're not out of harm's way yet. but we begin to get an upper hand on this. >> reporter: in sonoma county, authorities are still investigating 88 reports of
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missing people, a list that has been whittled down from hundreds. search teams are looking for some of the missing at burned out homes. >> the longer the time goes out, the more that gets a little bit more sensitive. >> reporter: the hope is that many are simply out of touch. >> i don't have a best guess where they are, we're trying to find them. we're hunting them down. >> reporter: the national guard is helping with the search for victims, and in the process, salvaging valuables that will be returned to their rightful owners. over a week has passed since the fires erupted. body camera footage from that night show's sonoma county fire sergeant getting people to safety as embers rain down. >> i look back, and i don't know how we didn't catch fire. we're not wearing protective clothing. we were getting hit with those embers. >> our house is burning! no! >> reporter: in neighborhoods decimated by fire, it's hard to know what the future holds. >> you want to help her find some clothes? >> reporter: they lost their house, and they're not alone. park says about 20% of the kids
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at their school are now homeless. >> i mean, we can find places, but we don't want to drive 40, 45 minutes. we have kids in school, we have all of their activities. it doesn't make sense. >> reporter: yet beneath the smoke, you'll find a thick layer of kindness. >> let's have you walk the parallel bars again. >> reporter: she is getting new prosthetics after her old ones were robbed by the fire. >> with my legs i feel powerful. >> reporter: a gift donated by hanger clinic and associates. >> i hope they truly know how much they have given back to a little girl that all she wants to do is walk again. >> reporter: this morning, 40,000 people are still evacuated, and those in the hardest hit neighborhoods may not be able to return for days or even weeks. no one can go home until the neighborhoods are safe, and utilities are restored. matt and savannah? >> joe fryer in santa rosa, thanks. now to a new interview with a former hostage of taliban linked extremists. just days after being released. that hostage now explaining why he and his wife had children in captivity. nbc's kelly cobiella with more on that.
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kelly, good morning. >> reporter: savannah, good morning. joshua boyle described just horrific conditions in captivity, being shuffled between three different prisons, violence and beatings. and now he's explaining why he and his wife brought children into that world. this morning, new answers to a question many people had about former hostages joshua boyle, caitlyn coleman and the children they had in captivity. boyle telling the ap in a written exchange, when it came to having more kids, they decided, quote, hey, let's make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family. boyle's american wife, caitlyn coleman, was already pregnant when they went backpacking in afghanistan and were abducted five years ago. as hostages with, quote, a lot of time on their hands, they decided to try for more children. we always wanted as many as possible, and we didn't want to waste time, he wrote. adding kait's in her 30s, the
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clock is ticking. he went on to joke, honestly, we always planned to have a family of five, ten, twelve children. we're irish. ha ha. after arriving in canada, boyle revealed captors had killed an infant daughter and raped his wife during the years they were held. >> the stupidity and evil was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter and the subsequent rape of my wife. >> reporter: boyle told nbc news exclusively, the family lived in an underground dungeon, just 66 square feet, dripping water. their food and beds covered in mold. the family now adjusting to life out of captivity. boyle saying his three sons have reached the first true home they have ever known. adding that one of his boys has started raiding the first refrigerator of his life. e alsoe
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now 4, 2 and somewhere around 6 months old. he said the children were asking whether each new airport they were in was their new home. as they were traveling back to canada last week. >> thank you very much. >> in other words, we're expecting some new developments today tied to national anthem protests before nfl games that have led to heated debates. >> good morning. these nfl owners meetings don't usually attract attention but obviously today's gathering is much different as they try to find common ground over what's become a touchy topic. that's the national anthem. >> in a few hours nfl players and owners sitting down to discuss standing up for the national anthem, an issue that's
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largely overshadowed football this season. >>. ♪ >> at today's regularly scheduled owners meeting players and union meetings will try to reach consensus on how to tackle the protests and social issues important to players. >> the goal is to try to solve the anthem issue once and for all. not with a mandate but with some sort of an offer to the players, a plat form separate from the anthem. >> president trump took aim at the nfl last month prompting large demonstrations beyond the handful who had been quietly kneeling. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when someone disrefimgt p fects our flag to say get that son of a pitch off the field right now. he's fired. >> mr. trump has kept the issue alive with tweets and comments discussing the protests again on monday. >> when you go down and take a knee or any other way, you're sitting, essentially.
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for our great national anthem. you're disrespipgting our flag and disz respecting our country. >> colin kaepernick, who last season initiated the protest, this week filed a grievance against the nfl accusing the league of colluding to keep him out of the game since he became a pre agent back in march. la charger defended the protest kaepernick started. it has been distorted z and used to further divide us, we as players have a responsibility to come together and respond collectively. >> police brutality and that the cbc stands with players calling attention to that. >> okay. thanks very much.
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>> alis here with our first check of the weather. >> it's a little brisk. you're no the i lone here in the northeast. in fact about 32 million people are on some sort of freeze warning or frost advisory from boston, buffalo. 35 degrees. it's going to stay a little chilly in the northeast but warming heading our way. look at what's going on in t plains and out west. chicago 8 degrees above average. wednesday all that warm air starts moving to the east, minneapolis, st. louis, cleveland, boston. all above normal. as we head into the later part of the week. chicago. upper 70's as you get to atlanta. we're getting to your local forecast in the next 30 seconds.
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good morning, i'm meteorologist, kari hall. as we take a live look outside in san jose, a mostly clear morning, chilly temperatures. we are starting in the upper 50s, we are in the mid-40s in the north bay. tracking a wildfire, our high temperatures this afternoon will reach into the upper 70s for palo alto. 80 degrees in san jose. north bay, lower 80s and mostly calm winds and very dry conditions throughout the day. . and that is your latest >> and that is your latest weather. >> coming up the widening criminal investigation into harvey weinstein's alleged behavior as he prepared to
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challenge being fired by his own company today. >> and in the wake of damaging cyber attacks, we're going to show you what companies are now doing hoping to prevent the next big one. but first, this is "today" on nbc. we are the generation that had it all.
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so you'll see fewer leaks and they'll see their first underwear pampers easy ups, an easy way to underwear edition of nbc bay area news. we are following breaking news -- at good morning. thanks for joining us for the special edition of nbc bay area news. we are following breaking news as we have been all morning. mandatory evacuations in the mountains or a wildfire out of control near homes. i'm kris sanchez in for laura garcia. >> i'm marcus washington. we continue our coverage. you can take a look at nbc bay area sky ranger over that fire that is now burning 125 acres. we have been telling you about this fire since we first broke on the air at 3:00 this morning, then at 4:00 on an earlier edition of "today in the bay." we continue now, getting you updated on what's going on with this fire. this is now called the bear fire burning in boulder creek in bear
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creek canyon. this is not far from that area we have been talking about this morning. that's 125 acres burning, that's an estimate. it is burning in rugged terrain you can see as it smolders with smoke over the area. as you look closer, glimpse of sparks of blaze that we see and have been seeing all morning. some 30 feet shooting into the air. that's what we have been hearing from people evacuating from their homes. one structure confirmed destroyed. >> sky ranger over the smoke and the steep terrain as we get our first daylight look. sun rose about nine minutes ago. that's what firefighters were waiting for. they said once the sun came up, they would be able to better assess the situation and launch the aircraft. we were talking to nbc bay area's, damian trujillo talking about the fact those aircraft are stationed at hollister. once they get in the air, they
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will do the aerial assault and do some sort of containment. we have a crew on the ground where the flames are still burning in the mountainside. rough vegetation. rough terrain. very steep. very rugged. very difficult to access. we have heard bulldozers and fire crews. bob redell is there on the ground as well. we will get to him in a moment. i want to make sure you know where this area is so if you don't have business there, you can stay out. mandatory evacuations in bear creek canyon. that is in the area of los gatos and the area of ben loman. a closer look at where the fire may have started as well. >> they sparked up around 11:00 or so last night. this is the deer creek road and bear creek road. bob redell is live along those fire lines this morning. bob, a lot has been going on with the fighting of the fire as
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well as a firefighter being injured. >> reporter: correct. you can see why it is so easy to get injured when fighting in that terrain. this is the bear fire. this is bear creek road and deer creek canyon road. as you look up the steep mountainside, the fire is heading in a northwesterly direction. the firefighters have been here since overnight. a firefighter tumbled down 50 feet down a low incline. it was the past ten minutes an ambulance drove him out. we weren't able to see him inside. we did notice his arm was moving. that's a good thing. he is conscious. according to the cal fire battalion chief, he landed in a creek, had the wind knocked out of him, a cut on his face and possible broken wrist. knu nothing that is life threatening. an inmate firefighter suffers
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inhilation and was taken to the hospital. injuries are not considered to be life threatening. the problems facing the firefighters with the steep terrain, it is densely packed with vegetation. when we spoke to a battalion chief, once the sun comes up, he quoted, we are going slam it hard. they ordered an air attack. they are waiting for it to arrive. the sheriff's office sent out a reverse 911 call to let people know they are under mandatory evacuation. there's 150 people. it's for these roads, deer creek road, rons road, dons road, los valley road, favre ridge and oak ridge. hey, even if you are not in that mandatory evacuation zone, but you feel like you are in danger, leave if it's safe to do so. this fire has been burning since the overnight hours. we presooume a lot of people in that area know what is going on.
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it stretched into the wildfire behind me. around 12:30 the report is it was ten acres. now it's 125 acres. the last report from cal fire, zero percent contained. live in santa cruz mountains, bob redell, nbc bay area news. >> i'll take you back to sky ranger live over the scene. this is no wonder why this is burning this way. a lot of vegetation. a lot of rain over the winter, so a lot of fuel grew in those winter months. now, this is what firefighters are dealing with. you can see the smoke billowing there in the distance. at least it's daylight now, which is what cal fire has been waiting for in order to have those air assaults. >> right now, we want to go to meteorologist kari hall, who has been tracking the weather conditions. kari, as we are talking ant this, the wind is something that is lot of people have been paying attention to, especially when talking about the north bay fires, now this in the santa cruz mountains. what can we expect today?
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>> the winds are important. it gives you an idea of which direction those wildfires could spread. also, we saw with the video, the smoke was going straight up. we have calm winds and we are not going to see those embers spreading away from the wildfire area quickly. also, very dry conditions. i want to show this temperature trend. as we look at the santa cruz mountains, the temperatures are fairly cool, in the mid-50s and going to gradually warm up to the mid-70s as we go through the day. by early afternoon, 74 degrees, with fairly calm winds. looking at the wind direction and the wind speed, in miles per hour, it will stay mainly calm coming in from the north and then up to about 7 miles per hour for this afternoon. so, very light winds. also watching humidity and moisture, also lightning well off was a disturbance closer to the santa cruz mountains.
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this is something we'll have to keep an eye on for potential of lightning moving in with the disturbance well to the west of us. as we look at the relative humidity, starting out this morning in the bear creek canyon, it is going to be at 41%. what happens after sunrise, the humidity will drop slightly and create drier conditions. this is not good. when you have higher humidity, it keeps those wildfires from spreading more rapidly. we have a lot of dry heels on the ground. then you add in the low relative humidity with that and the shifting of the winds, that could make things spread more rapidly as we go through the day. but, we will have higher humidity as we go into tonight. we will have the recovery of the humidity bouncing back into the 70 to 80, possibly close to the 90% range. so, that is great news there as we will see the return of the marine layer and on shore flow bringing in higher humidity for
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parts of the santa cruz mountains. we talked about the wind speeds starting out very calm, very light this morning. it is bringing in with that northwesterly wind, northeasterly wind, very low relative humidity. it's really dry. as we go through the day, the winds are about 5-10 miles per hour. so, looking at light winds throughout the day, hopefully they can get containment on this fairly quickly as we go into this afternoon. we have also been talking about the potential of rain in the forecast. that doesn't come inuntil late thursday. light wind in the forecast. right now, temperatures in the upper 50s in that area and going to see those highs for today in the mid-70s for this afternoon. we'll continue to monitor the changes in our weather forecast. mike is now looking at local road closures. >> that's right, kari. if you are just joining us, we are talking this fire here, called the bear fire in the
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santa cruz mountains. we are looking at highway 17 and highway 9. they are still open around the closures. kris laid out the evacuation areas. i want to show this list of local roadways that are closed. if they are not familiar to you, stay out of there. bear creek road, bear creek, better known highway 35. bear creek between highway 35 and highway 9, avoid that stretch. be careful out there. in santa clara county as well, watching for those closures. get to the map and what we are talking about, again, this section of roadway, sorry, this section of development, north of boulder creek, south of los gatos and bear creek canyon road and others off highway 35. this is not related to a fire. this is an earlier crash northbound 17 at the bear creek off ramp.
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it's slow from the summit heading north. but, as it has sun comes up, the air drops start, there may be more smoke visible in portions of the south bay and aircraft as well. be prepared for that distraction and watch for other drivers who are watching above the roadway and watch for road closures. we'll continue to follow highway 17 is open for business. back to you. >> all right. like you said, keep your eyes on the road. the coverage of the wildfire continues. of course, it is a region that is no stranger to fire. >> let's bring in scott mcgrew with more on the history of wildfires throughout the area. scott? >> good morning to you. you recall the really big one late december last year, loma prietta fire, 4,400 acres in the santa cruz mountains in the santa clara county side of it, destroying nearly 30 buildings, 13 of those were homes. in 2015, there were 46 small fires in the area. seven of them arsons.
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then, eight starptted by power lines. in 2014, we counted 62 small fires. now, one of the most notable fires in the region was the lockheed fire. that was 2009, 13 buildings destroyed then. it was a campfire that started that. the summit fire in 2008, 63 homes were destroyed back then. a tree contractor blamed after that fire. the burn pile burned out of control. at this point, we don't know what the cause is of that fire. we know they burn very hot. damian trujillo covered our summit fire back in the day. i took this off his desk. this is some of the molten metal. very hot. so far, today's fire not nearly as big as those past fires. let's hope it stays that way. >> we can certainly hope. thank you very much, scott. >> we want to take you back to
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sky ranger flying over the fire. you can see the very thick smoke that is over head all the vegetation and the embers burning on the ground. >> this forced a lot of people to evacuate from their homes this morning. we are on the phone with virginia becker, one of the evacuees. we know you have updated information on another evacuation center. we know the boulder elementary school has been switched to a fire station which is now an evacuation center. what is the other new one we have? >> caller: we just opened, i say we, because i'm a red cross volunteer. we just opened an evacuation center at loma prietta elementary school off black road. we want local residents to understand that is open. so, we'll be providing meals and snacks and, if necessary, cots. we'll be getting updated information there. it's a good place to come and gather, if you live on or near
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lakeside on this side of the hill, not the boulder creek side of the hill. >> seems like folks found themselves in that direction anyway, virginia, as they were evacuating in the darkness and could not make it over to boulder creek elementary school. is that what you are hearing from some of those evacuees? >> caller: right. in our situation, there was a big break on skyline boulevard this winter. so, that break is still there. we can't escape to go to boulder creek that way. we have to go down glass road. what's nice for those people that are not able to safely get to boulder creek, you can come to lakeside elementary school. >> okay. lake side elementary or loma prietta? >> caller: lakeside on black road. it just opened up. >> okay, lakeside elementary school on black road. one more evacuation station. the fire station is also open to
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evacuees. how many folks are you seeing out there, virginia? we were talking boulder creek elementary school earlier. they said there were only about ten or 15 people. >> caller: earlier this morning, that's where we all congregated and i would say about 40 of us. now that the sun is out, people have scattered right now. we have about ten. again, we just put a red cross signage up no less than 15 minutes ago. so, still too soon to say. >> you and your husband evacuated your home. talk to me about the conditions that sparked you all to say, hey rksz we ha , we have to get out of here. >> caller: about midnight, we saw a wall of fire that was about to jump over the ridge that is very close to our house. so, we didn't need a phone call to say it's time to evacuate.
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>> how were you awake at that point? >> caller: my husband had to get up and go to the bathroom. >> thank goodness, right? he had to get up and go to the bathroom, otherwise, you might have had to wait for the sheriff department. talk about the difference between when you were awake and the time the sheriff's department came and knocked on the door. how much the fire had grown and how much closer it had gotten? >> caller: we could see flames. we were grateful, there's no winds to speak of. we understand they may pick up this afternoon. we are so hopeful the aerial assault will make some headway with this. cal fire, in the past, has been magnificent. in the future, right now. cal fire does, they are fierceful. we know they are going to work as hard as they can to save as many structures as they can. so -- >> virginia, i know you actually helped with the north bay fires.
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you were up there helping families recover from all of this. now, your home is potentially a threat. >> caller: yeah, it's been a couple mons, we were in texas helping out with the flood. we were up in santa rosa helping with the fires. now to have my red cross vest on and being an evacuee at the same time is surreal. >> does it make it easier knowing you are helping the community? >> i'm proud to be part of the red cross. i witness what they do. i see the lives they are able to comfort. we are not first responders. it's not what we do. when it comes time for mental help, physical help, lodging, meals, medical needs. so many things anybody needs to make them comfortable, the red cross will be there. yeah, i'm very proud to be part of red cross. i hope others consider joining as well. there's a tremendous need right
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now for volunteers. >> there is. virginia not only you will volunteer, but remind us, you are also an evacuee, woke up in the middle of the night and evacuated when you saw those flames. sometimes at the beginning of wildfire season, we hear about defensible space. clearing that 100 foot per imter around your house. you are in a mountain community. how seriously do you all take that defensible space? >> caller: we take it very seriously. we fear this day. we live up there. my fear is this fire. we take it very seriously. a lot of people don't want to spend the time or money, but most of us up there, i shouldn't say a lot, some don't, but most do. our neighbors, i think, have been very, very good about their defensible space. if there's an issue we can promote, it's take defensible space seriously, particularly if
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you live in the mountains. get somebody to help you do it. it's something that if you live here, you need to do it. >> virginia becker, evacuee and red cross volunteer, you just put the sign up on black road for folks to go there, find shelter, food, comfort and information as well. thanks for joining us. we are going to bob redell on the fire lines. i expect virginia will want to hear what bob has to say as well. bob? >> reporter: good morning to you, kris. you can see the so-called bear fire burning in a northwesterly direction behind me here, a steep incline here in the santa cruz mountains. we are just off bear canyon road where there's 150 firefighters from cal fire and other agencies out there trying to put this out. you can see how steep it is. you can see how densely packed it is with vegetation.
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access very limited, to say the least. the battalion chief said we are going slam it hard, referring to the air attack. once the sun comes up, we have not seen that, yet. the fire keeps flairing up and smolders. we have firefighters coming off the front line within the past 20 minutes, an ambulance came up. that was carrying a young firefighter, a 25-year-old man injured this morning while it was still dark out. he tumbled down a 50 foot slow incline, landed in a creek, possibly cut his face, possibly broke his wrist. he is conscious and going to be okay according to the chief. an inmate firefighter suffered smoke inhilation and he was taken to the hospital. this is what it looks like right now. you can see flames burning. what we have seen in the past 15 minutes, a lot of gray/white smoke out of the area that
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burned. the burn area is 125 acres. 100 homes are threatened. it started around 10:30 as a structure fire. spread from there. 12:30, cal fire was saying it was a 10-acre fire. now, a 125-acre fire. containment as of last report, zero. bob redell, "today in the bay." >> some said they saw the flames going 30-40 feet up in the air. are you still seeing flames like that or more smoke? >> reporter: there you go, there's the flames you are talking anlt. we see these as the fire moves up in the northwesterly direction and hits pockets or a tree or pockets of dense vegetation, you see it flair up like that, then settle. it's more visual in the nighttime where you see the glowing embers. that is packed with glowing embers, but not going to show up in the sunlight. yes, you are going to see those
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flames, those candles, if you will, shooting up in the air. i hear a chopper coming over the ridge. i don't know if that's a news chopper or a cal fire attack chopper or spotter shopper. as i mentioned, the battalion chief did order an air attack to douse this mountain because the access is so limited. really, there are a couple switchbacks in there, but other areas you can only access by foot. you can see how steep it is and how dangerous it is based on the fact one firefighter has been hurt and taken to the hospital. again, his condition is not life threatening. >> you have been with the crews throughout the morning. have they talked how important the air attacks will be to get this fire under control? >> reporter: absolutely. i want to direction your attention, there's a helicopter moving from the left side of the screen to the right side. it looks like an air ambulance. i believe that's the helicopter that is carrying the injured
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firefighter. what they had to do is rescue him out. he was in that ravine, pull him out, get him across the terrain and to an ambulance and they drove the ambulance to the air ambulance that is taking off. you can't see it, but it is moving across the front of our tv screen right now. marcus, to address your question, the air attack is crucial in this scenario where it's very hard to access. what you are dealing with is mountains. as you are aware, getting up there is not easy and it's dangerous. >> we were hearing in the ba background, the sound of chainsaws. we saw a ton of bulldozers in the area. talk about what the cal fire chief told you about what they are able to do before the air assault. >> reporter: what they have been doing is one other vantage point up the road where we were at, you could see the flashing lights. there are some switch backs in areas. if you look at this area here,
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there isn't access, at least not what we are aware of and the vehicles. we haven't seen the vehicles going up there. what they were doing before, they did have vehicles up there. i did hear chainsaws. that means we knew they were clearing brush in areas they could. it does not appear in the area we are looking at now they have firefighters in there. given the fact that i'm not sure how you access that type of terrain, given that they need an escape route given the amount of fire activity out there. i'm guessing this area is going to continue to burn in that northwesterly direction until they are able to get the air assault. we are talking helicopters. >> we know we have been talking about the air quality improving after difficult days during the north bay wildfires. all of that smoke from napa county drifting down south. this does not look like a promising picture as we talk about air quality. bob, can you talk about how thick the smoke is where you are?
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>> reporter: we have seen, as the sun has come up and i don't know what the weather pattern change is, if we are getting an inversion or that's just the billowing of embers, but we are seeing this gray/white cloud of smoke starting to settle. is it affecting me personally? not too much. if you are in that area, you are going to feel it. you can smell it here, but not feeling it. there's ash. the air quality is dependent. if you look at the mountain, the left of the screen and north and to the left, you are looking toward the left. that appears to be where the plume is. it's presumably toward the santa cruz area and the pacific. it might indicate we have an on shore breeze. >> thank you, we are going to let you go to predict when the air assaults are going to
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happen. cal fire was looking for daylight. you can see the glow of the fire there on the hillside and in that rugged terrain there below. we see an aircraft there in the distance. perhaps it could be -- perhaps it could be a cal fire fire craft looking, responding, trying to find the best place to do that aerial assault. it could be a news chopper as well. we will track that this morning as sky ranger is over there. >> we want to tell you about that mandatory evacwax under way in bear creek canyon. this is the location of the brush fire in boulder creek. we want to get a closer look at that to get a feel of where we are talking anlt. the flames sprung up overnight at deer creek road and bear creek road. one of the challenges the firefighters have been dealing with is the steep and rugged terrain. we spoke to cal fire assistant chief sherman who said they were
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waiting for the light to get the aircraft in to hopefully drop something down. we want to go back to sky ranger. you can look at what they are dealing with right now. you can see those glows right there of flames still burning there on the rough terrain. right there. this is something that has continued throughout the night. fire crews have been working to get this under control. >> one of our photographers we work with was first on scene this morning shooting that video. zach joins us by phone this morning. we are glad you are safe. let's talk about what you saw when you arrived. >> good morning. i got on scene probably around midnight and the fire started about five acres and one structure. by the time i got there, it was ten acres. in the time i got there, it went from ten acres to 125 to 150 acres. >> now, can you tell what kind of structure that was?
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are we talking a house or are you not able to get close? >> it was too dangerous. the roads are really tight. it's tough to get in. i had -- i was staged over the command post and quite a ways away. i didn't get a look at the structure itself. >> talk to us, you were there, the fire grew from five to ten to 125 as we are right now. were you ever at threat? was the fire growing closer to you? did you have to move multiple times? >> i felt safe. these men and women with cal fire and the allied agencies do a fantastic job of fighting fires. i wasn't even for a moment concerned for my safety. they are so fantastic at what they do. >> i know you move around in the area, a standard size suv. sometimes the roads are small for a regular suv. talk about the difficulty of getting those bulldozers in and
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that heavy equipment firefighters need? >> well, you know, the area is, you know, we had a tough winter. we have a lot of roads that have been damaged. a lot of roads that have been destroyed. you have a lot of areas that are still under repair right now in preparation for the coming winter. it is tighter than it normally would be. on top of that, you have the low wires across parts of highway 9 and skyline or highway 35. so, it is really tight working in there. even, you know, i know a lot of news were struggling to get in. once you get off the main road, you know, you are talking about really, really tight quarters. you are talking areas where, you know, trash trucks can't go in certain areas, they are that tight. >> you can't make a turn to get
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out of there. you certainly don't wanlt to put yourself at risk. zach, photographer, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective. be safe out there this morning. >> absolutely. >> we are going to check with kari. we know weather is a factor here. now we have the daylight, which is what cal fire was waiting for. with the daylight, sometimes the winds pick up. >> as of now, the winds are nice and calm. we may not see the winds picking up until this evening. we will have sefrg hours of a window to get containment here. the winds are blowing from the north and east. a very dry wind. around that bear creek canyon area, wind only about 2 miles per hour. that is good news as we go through the 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 hour. winds 5-6 miles per hour, up to ten as question go into this evening, as it has winds start to shift. that may also change the direction that the fire is spreading, as we go into this evening. once we start to get more of an on shore flow. that will help transport a
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little more humidity from the ocean as we are going to see some higher humidities by tonight and also throughout the day tomorrow. it looks like as far as the wind speeds staying fairly calm and picking up to 10 miles per hour throughout the day. our temperatures are cool. we are in the upper 50s starting out this morning from san jose to santa cruz. the temperature at 57 degrees at this point. seeing them warm up to the low 80s today. it won't be as warm. we had spots hitting the upper 80s and low 90s. we are going to bring it down a few degrees because of the shift in the wind. it's still going to be warmer than where we should be for this time in october and some low 80s for the south bay. as we look at what is coming down the line. we have been talking about a chance of rain, but that won't be until late thursday into friday. as we get closer with each run of the computer models, unfortunately, it's been kind of backing off on how much rain we could see.
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but, we will still have a chance. as we go through the day tomorrow, the winds coming in from the northwest, then bringing in a little more humidity starting us out early tomorrow morning. then on thursday, as this cold front approaches, a good chance of light rain for the north bay, which will help out with the wildfires there. then the rain fizzles out as it makes its way south of the golden gate bridge. only looking at very light amounts of rain. here is a look at what one computer model is putting down for the north bay and santa rosa. a tengt inch of rain there. yesterday, it was showing a quarter inch. the trend has been for a drier cold front to move through. once again, at least seeing light rain in the north bay. the seven day forecast shows we will also have cooler air moving in. starts to get more breezy late tomorrow evening and into the day on thursday, with the approach of the cold front. cooler temperatures, higher humidity will help out in that
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fire fight for the inland area. low 80s today, but that cooling air moving in by tomorrow as well as thursday. watching out for those rain chances late thursday night into friday. mike is looking at the local road closures around the fire. >> that's right, kari. we are talking about the bigger picture. the highways are moving well. highway 17 pops in as you hear about the fires. highway 17 is open for business slowing and recovering from an earlier crash. bear creek is the biggest concern. bear creek is a street to avoid. local road closures at the top of the screen. bear creek and deer creek road because of the fire. kris and marcus have been listing the evacuation areas. we have them listed on we have all been tweeting them as well. if you got that notification, you need to go to safety. get back to the maps. we see the traffic outside those areas moves well.
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we had volunteer/evacuee having the washout in the rainy season. highway 35 has one lane closed as well. portions of highway 9 has a closure. locals are aware. if you don't know the roadways, there's no need to go in there. let the crews do their work. damian talked about hollister where the aircraft are coming out of. you will see aircraft in the air. that might be a distraction, but i have been scanning the area with the traffic cameras. from the south bay, i haven't seen anything above the roadways to cause distraction. there's the rest of your commute, typical for tuesday. in fact, lighter for tuesday. back to you. >> thank you very much, mike. we go out to sky ranger as the sun started to rise. a firefighter was air lifted away from the area after falling 50 feet down a ravine.
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it appears he has a broken wrist, lacerations to his face. weal continue to update you in a few moments. for joining us for a special edition of nbc bay area news. we are following breaking news -- mandatory evacuations in the santa cruz mountains. a wildfire burning near homes near the boulder creek area. i )m kris sanchez - in for laura garcia. and i )m marcus washington. nbc bay area skyranger live. --firefighter has fallen 50 feet. --bear fire burning in boulder creek .. in bear creek canyon not far from ben lomond -- 125+ acres estimated burned -- burning in rugged terrain -- 100 homes evacuated - one structure confirmed destroyed -- firefighters waiting for daylight to attack from the air
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they can start that attack by anyoas they continue to dump reings on to the fire to get it under control. that mandatory evacuation is under way in bear creek canyon. rtedok at the location of the brush fire in boulder creek that started with one structure. skyrser look at the areas. those flames sprung up overnight at deer creek and bear creek road. nbc bay area live over the area and right now we want to go with collin for an update on this fire. >> colleen baxter is with cal fire. we know that your comrades have been saying daylight is what you need. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, we have aircraft launching this morning. we'll have multiple air tankers and helicopters fighting the fire from the air today. >> how soon are those going to start can you say? >> reporter: the aircraft?
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>> yes. >> reporter: we just lunched them. so aircraft operations are under way today. >> we know that lexington reservoir is there and water from there. are we talking about retardant? >> reporter: retardant drops today. >> how many are we talking about? >> reporter: i don't have a current update on the amount of air tankers going up in the air but there will be multiple air tankers and helicopters and water drops. >> the state of the fire, crews have been battling it on ground just trying to keep it in its perimeter. can you talk to us what they have been able to do overnight? >> reporter: that's what we're doing today. operations will be working on perimeter control. approximately 300 firefighters at the fire. working on it. and the acreage is still at 125 acres. 0% containment. >> talk about the strength of the team that you have out there. many of those firefighters been taken to go fight things in the north bay or are we looking --
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are we in good condition of the size and the number of firefighters we have on the ground? >> reporter: we're in good shape. we have again 300 firefighters. firefighters from all over the area from our local fire departments. to santa clara county. monterey count. santa cruz county. multiple engines fighting the fire. dozers and hand crews. we're in good shape. this is not a wind-driven fire like it was in northern california. the winds are very mild. they're 5 to 10 miles an hour. the humidity is good. they're much higher and we're in good shape for this fire we think. >> we can see from the sky ranger overhead that is it is stagnant. that cloud of smoke is sitting over the mountains. we know that the terrain is difficult and that there is a lot of foliage. talk about how much fuel this fire might have because of such
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a wet winter we just went through? >> reporter: there's a lot of fuel to burn. it was a very wet winter. so it's october. this is notoriously one of the most active months for fire season. and it is featuring which is why we're hitting the fire today with aircraft. >> we are talking about retardant as well as water drops as well. about 100 structures under threat in the area. can you tell whether they are homes or other kinds of structures? >> reporter: i don't know. we just have approximately 150 structures. >> do you know where the fire started? that structure, if it was a home or barn or what? >> reporter: i believe it was a home and it was a structure fire that started around 10:30 last night. >> colleen baxter, thank you so much for joining us from cal fire. you have your hands full this morning but we know you are
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getting usual aid in the area as well. edell check in with you later on n th morning. we want to go to bob who is near the fire lines there in the santa cruz mountains as well. >> reporter: we spoke earlier this morning with the cal fire battalion chief. he said quote, we're going to slam it hard, the bear fire burning behind me here off bear cannon road. he's referring to the air attack once the sun comes up. he said that was going to be crucial for putting out the fire that has burned 125 acres. forced the evacuation of 150 people and has hurt two firefighters. one firefighter who tumbled down around 50 feet an incline and landed in a creek. cut his face. possibly broke his wrist and had the wind knocked out of him. he was taken by ambulance and going to be okay.
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and a firefighter suffered some smoke inhalation taken to the hospital. a number of people have been evacuated from here and this is a very tricky terrain for firefighters to deal with because it is so steep and dense in vegetation. access is very limited. some areas have switchbacks which are hard to navigate with big trucks and some areas you can't get in at all, only by foot. that's why the air attack is so crucial. ing iin the santa cruz mountains, nbc bay area news. >> we're going to go to the sky ranger as the fire continues to burn and they continue to battle that fire. we heard from cal fire as they have now pulled up those aircrafts so they can put down the retardant on the fire to help battle the fire that continues to burn. 125 acres. we know as bob has been telling us one firefighter was hurt during that. he fell some 50 feet into a
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creek. he possibly may have broken a wrist. had the wind knocked out of him dut appears to be okay. we also had word of a pris firefighter who had to be taken to the hospital because of smoke inhalation. you can see the clouds of smoke. but what you can't see right now are those flames that continue to burn and that has been causing a big problem for firefighters as they continue to battle that fire on ground. the good thing about that as we see daylight is here we're getting the aircrafts in with the retardant to help. >> that's right. colleen baxter says this is not a wind driven event and we can see from sky ranger that it is just a pool of smoke that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. meteorologist carrie hall has been watching the weather conditions. carrie you were noticing the winds are pretty light as well as we were noticing when the columns of flames were going straight up. >> right. you can see that right now as you take a look over the sky ranger and the smoke just going
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straight up. it's not going off to either side and that's going to prevent spreading farther away. as we get a look live at the camera here, you can see that it is very hazy starting out this morning. another morning with some poor air quality. this time coming from the wildfires near the santa cruz mountains. you can probably smell that and it's just the good reminder to on these days where we have such unhealthy air quality to limit your time outdoors and close your windows and doors and not let the air inside. as the kids head to school this morning we want to get you oriented to where this is happening just to the south and north of boulder creek. this is bear creek road and where it starts to get curvy is where we think this started earlier this morning. and as far as our temperature, it's going to be in the lower
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60s. it's nice and cool. not much of a wind at this point and it slowly warms up into late morning and early afternoon with temperatures in the mid 70s later on today. looking at the forecast, and looks to stay calm at least through 10:00, 11:00 this morning and the winds only at 4, 5, 6 miles per hour until early afternoon with our highest wind speeds coming in from the north and east shifting over towards the north and west at about 10 miles per hour later today. watching another system that could cause the winds to pick up, there is a disturbance well off shore. seeing some lightning strikes to the west and looks like the rain will stay to the south but starting to see the clouds into the santa cruz mountains and looks like that's the direction it's heading in. closer look where we are seeing the rain. just south of st. louis and going to watch those showers moving in. we are seeing rain in the area
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but this will not be the system that will bring showers over the next couple of days. one other factor is the relative humidity. normally at this time of the morning it's about 60%, 70%, 80% but only seeing the relative humidity around bear creek cannon around 39% and will drop as the sun rises. we're going to go into some very dry conditions. even in the north bay as we look at the relative humidity there for noon it's going to be below 20%. that may fan some of the flames especially as the winds pick up and shift direction moving to a more on shore flow for this afternoon. we'll talk more about this. mike is talking about the local road closures. >> that's right. highway 9 and 17 have remained open. bear creek road has had the washout and folks familiar with the area will know it's
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inaccurate sesable and restricted traffic for highway 35. favor ridge road which is one of the evacuation zones as well. chris and marcus were speaking to colleen baxter from cal fire. they are going to have fire retardant dropped from the air and the lexington reservoir on the other side of highway 17 from the fire, there may be traffic over highway 17 as well. tough to see anything anyway because of the trees above and we haven't seen any unusual traffic flow but just a note, here's lexington reservoir and on the other side is the fire zone at the bear fire and you may see aircraft traveling through the area. we haven't seen that activity just yet but scanning the roadways though, highway 17 and 9 remain moving smoothly. back to you guys. >> we want to go back to nbc bay area sky ranger as we look over the fire burn there in the
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boulder creek area. palled the bear fire right now. we can't c confirm five firefigs hurt with three with minor injuries. the flames continues to burn and the smoke continuing to rise. >> we don't know the condition of the other two firefighters. we knew at one point there was one firefighter injured with a broken wrist after a fall and another firefighter who had some smoke inhalation and we know three other firefighters injured. we want to john nba area garvin thomas on the phone. he's not too far from the fire line. we know you live in the santa cruz mountains. is your family under evacuation order? >> no we're not. we are not. we're still a few miles away from the scene of this fire, you know, no -- not in any danger for our family, not under any
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evacuation orders. >> that is good to hear. what are you seeing there on the ground as you are closer to the fire lines? >> well, lots and lots of smoke in the sky. you know, carrie was showing you the map on bear creek road where it gets twisty, that is where i am right now. don't see any flames yet but lots of that fire smoke in the sky. >> okay. so we know that some folks who did see the flames as the evacuation orders were going into effect right around the midnight hour, they were saying that even before that, they were seeing flames going 30, 40 feet into the air. you're saying you're not seeing that at this point where you are? >> not yet. could be i'm just not close enough to where the fire is. i've been traveling some of the back roads through the santa cruz mountains up and over, not on highway 17. i'm not sure if this is one thing you guys have discussed earlier this morning but
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obviously we're all thinking of the north bay fires and just a big difference. i heard you talk about the terrain and how dangerous it is for firefighters but the number one difference would be the roads. that getting heavy equipment through these small two lanes, twisty, turny roads has to be much more challenging than some of the roads up in the north bay and i would guess that's something the firefighters are having to deal with today. getting evacuees out, making sure the roads are clear for them to get out and making sure they can get their equipment in. >> they had to open a second evacuation center because of those different roadways. folks couldn't make it over to the elementary school so they had to open a second evacuation at lakeside because of the watchout on 35. >> exactly. some of the roads since last winter have made it tough to get around up in the mountains.
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>> i was going to ask you about that. talk to us about your drive to the area as you try to get to the area, has it been difficult? have you run into any road closures? >> i just ran into my first road closure right now on bear creek. bear creek. i pulled over because i wanted to talk to you guys. i'm going to navigate and figure out how far -- how much farther on the road i can go. probably there's some media crews up ahead and i'll probably go up and join them at the staging spot. >> what about the air quality? has it been hard to breathe out there? >> not yet. not yet. i suspect as i get closer to the fire that's going to be an issue because looking straight ahead from where -- you know, i look behind me there's clear blue sky and i look ahead and it's just a sky filled with smoke. >> for someone who lives in this area, i imagine you think about
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anything -- something like this happeni happening. how is this affecting you personally? >> obviously living in the mountains, a wildfire is something you think about all the time. having covered the north bay fires last week i certainly came home with again another added perspective and urgency to how quickly things can change and certainly when you live in an area like this. the fire from last year was much closer to where we lived. so when the smoke plume when up from that last year that set off alarm bells and got us paying attention to what was going on. >> we are looking on our screen and seeing the heavy equipment rolling into the area. some of the big bulldozers and the chain saws in the distance as firefighters try to create a fire break so the fire cannot move and get some containment. we have been talking about the
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nyocuation centers as well and there was one initially, a boulder creek elementary school which has shifted to lakeside elementary school over on black road and a fire station that's open, zionte fire station opened right now. we know of one school closure ool use of this bear fire burning in the santa cruz officains. boulder creek elementary school r reoing to be closed but the te t of the schools in the ounfied school district will be open. if your children go to san lorenzo valley high, middle or fficentary school, they are due in class at the regular time. the boulder school is the only school closed for today. >> as we look here at sky ranger you can see the clouds of smoke 10 we continue to follow on what's going on. we're waiting to see the first
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glimpse of the air crews. we were told they were be coming in to tackle the fire from above. right now 125 acres have burned as 150 people have been ay iuated from their homes as loo continue to battle this fire. right now we want to get you updated what's going on. at watory evacuation under way .. bear creek cannon. this is a look in boulder creek. a closer look at where the fire started last night as the flames ues ng up overnight at deer kraek road and bear creek road. mcgcoverage of that fire burning in santa cruz mountains continues. the region is no stranger to these fires. >> we have been talking about the other fires our crews have covered. damien was there at the summit and lamona fire and those are vivid memories for the folks who live there. we are joined with the history in he wildfires there and the
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scarring folks feel because of those fires. >> good morning to you. matthew saw a minute ago, i want to point out to our viewers that is not the size of the fire, just a way of us measuring distances there. let's talk about some of the dires that were much bigger. lamona. that was 4,400 acres in the 5 - a cruz mountains in santa clara county just last year. destroyed nearly 30 buildings, 13 were homes. in 2015 46 small fires. 7 arsons and 8 started by power egion which we have been talking about. then 2014, 62 small fires. we remember the lockheed fire in 2009 in the summer in august. 200buildings destroyed then. that was an out of control tracfire that was to blame and . en the big summit fire a year previous. 63 homes destroyed when a tree
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contractor was blamed for that fire. apparently he was burning piles of material. that grew out of control. these are all much larger fires than we are seeing so far and hopefully it will continue to stay that way. schooland marcus. >> thank you very much. we want to go back over to chopper which is -- or rather, sky ranger which is overhead of the fire and we can see the pool of smoke is still pretty stagnant. the weather conditions are looking favorable for this firefight. we were expecting that the retardant and water drops would start within this hour. we haven't seen them from this vantage point but we have several crews on the ground. garvin thomas is there and bob as well. we have another photographer who has been moving around from boulder creek elementary school st. ie of the other evacuation areas. when those drops start we will be sure to let you know.
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we know they were due to start. not too far from now. probably been the next couple of minutes. >> boulder creek elementary school is the only school closed on centecause of these fires. ist school was used as an uz cuation center and has since moved to ziante fire station. it's lakeside elementary school. they can go to receive help, get rest as well as some food. we heard one lady was evacuated also working with the red cross, virginia becker, we talked to her earlier and she said her husband woke up and he saw the flames, woke her up and they decided now is the time to go. as they continue to watch that. we spoke to another man who said he saw it and didn't wait for anyone, he just wanted to get out because people know because of what we have been following with the north bay fires that people know that this could turn
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from something bad to worse quickly. toneed to get out and get into a safe area and that's what a lot the fireldid. we know this fire started around 10:30 last night and again 125 acres that are burned so far right now. >> to clarify, these folks happened to be awake. they self-evacuated and got 911 calls and knocks on their door from the sheriff's department telling them it was time to get out. having just changed positions just a bit, bob, we have been waiting for the air assault to begin. have you seen or heard it at this point? >> reporter: we did see one cal fire chopper fly by. we don't know if they're trying to get a lay of the land. we did hear the chop per go. we have division chief with cal fire. i want to run by some numbers with you. still 125 acres?
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>> our best estimate. >> reporter: any containment? >> zero containment. >> how many firefighters. >> close to 250. >> two injuries, three, how many? >> five minor injuries. >> the inmate who had smoke inhalation taken to the hospital. they're going to be okay? >> correct. >> then a younger guy fell down in the dark. >> he had a wrist injury and a face injury and then we also had three more injuries after that. >> are those other injuries sprains, cuts and bruises? >> not sure right now. but yeah, due to like the steep terrain and footing issues out there. >> everyone is going to be okay? >> everyone is going to be okay. >> i know the one firefighter who had the wrist and face injury, that was a 50-foot tumble. i'm assuming you haven't been out there but you're probably talking to your colleagues and got a good sense of the terrain. what's it like when you're out
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there? >> yeah. deep. rocky. there's drop-off, big trees and brush. it's pretty rough terrain. >> i saw flashing lights earlier this morning. i know there's switchbacks but assuming everything else is by foot? >> the firefighters are working on the line and the access is steep, windy dirt road. >> how do you attack a fire like this when it's up a mountain? >> they're doing it. you can hear them. they're cutting line. >> you're right. you hear the chain saws. that's hard work. >> yeah. >> the biggest challenge is going to be the steep terrain? >> the steep terrain. the critically dry conditions out there. >> how is the weather looking? >> weather doesn't look too bad. we have pretty low humidity but aren't expecting any high winds and the temperatures should be fairly moderate today. >> as far as the structures, we heard 100 structures threatened.
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still the number? >> yeah. we're estimating about 150 structures in the whole evacuation area. and we do know that one structure has burned and possibly more structures that we'll be able to report on later when we make confirmation. >> the one structure burned was around 10:30 last night. >> that's right. >> is there anything about this fire that surprised you, any fire behavior that maybe you haven't seen before or acted in a way that you expected to? >> we don't expect to have so many injuries but this is something we're trained for and prepared to deal with. >> i hear the chopper in the background in addition to the chain saws. how crucial is that air attack? >> very helpful. getting that heat out of the fire so they can get the lines in. >> is that the make or break? >> it's definitely speeding things up. >> division chief, thank you
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very much. anything i'm missing that i should be asking or you wanted to bring up? >> you know, i mean, just the community here is a community that has been preparing for every year for many years for this type of a situation. and i would think they're well prepared. our goal is to keep that fire from going over to the next canyon where it could threaten there. >> thank you division chief. we saw a cal fire chopper going by with its hose underneath it to take that water and start that air attack on this fire 5 fning here for almost 12 hours hurt. reporting live here in the santa cruz mountains, nbc bay area news. >> you can hear the relief in the firefighter's voice when she heard the chopper was coming overhead and saying they didn't expect to have this many injuries.
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that speaks to the difficulty of the terrain and the fact it is pitch black when you are out there. at night it is really, really dark. >> five injuries. but the good news is she says all of the firefighters are going to be okay. we heard her say we know for a fact three minor injuries but she said all of them will be okay. grant, boulder creek resident. not evacuated but close to the fire. >> we're going to get to that in just a moment. for joining us for a special
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edition of nbc bay area news. we are following breaking news -- mandatory evacuatns thanks for joining us for this special edition nbc bay area news. we're following mandatory evacuations and a wildfire in the santa cruz niarea. >> as we look over sky ranger right now you can see the clouds of smoke over where 125 acres are burning right now. we can tell you that one firefighter fell 50 feet into a creek and hurt himself and got a report moments ago that five firefighters are hurt but the good news, all of those firefighters are going to be okay. and that fire is burning there in the boulder creek area in
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bear creek canyon not far from ben lowman. 125 acres estimated to be burning right now and this is because of the rugged terrain making it hard for firefighters to battle that fire. 150 homes evacuated. one structure confirmed destroyed and that is where the source of all of this came from. the firefighters have been waiting for daylight to come and we just heard the first air attack over that scene and good news as firefighters continue to battle that fire. mandatory evacuations are under way at bear creek canyon. that is is where the fire started there. the flames went up overnight at deer creek road and bear creek road. nbc bay area chopper is live over the scene. five firefighters hurt but told all are okay. a boulder creek resident not
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evacuated but close to the fire. good morning. grant, can you hear us? >> we will get to grant in a moment. he lives in boulder creek but is close to flames. we want to know what that's like and also check the weather and traffic conditions. right now we are looking at sky ranger overhead and we see that huge cloud of smoke just sitting on top of the mountains there in santa cruz and we know that it is not drifting at this point. that's because the winds are favorable at this point carrie. >> to get some containment. we see that the wind as we talked about earlier is not carrying the smoke in either direction. it's just going straight up as you get that live view from sky ranger. that also is making for some poor air quality around the bay area as we take a live look outside in san jose. as we were starting to get improvement here from the north
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bay wildfires we have another one puburning closer to the sou bay. we will monitor that. looking at bear creek road off of 35 and just to the north, the boulder creek area. our temperatures have started out nice and cool. as we go through the next hour, we'll be in the low 60s. we do need the cooler temperatures but also need the higher humidity and that is lacking this morning causing the fire to spread more quickly. when we have higher humidity the fire doesn't spread as fast. our temperatures reaching into the mid 70s. wind speeds slowly pick up through the day starting out of the north and in miles per hour looking at 5 to 10 as we go through the day. watching the weather system well off shore to the west picking up on some live lightning there. that will be an area we'll need to monitor as it moves closer.
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most likely starting to move closer to the santa cruz mountains later this evening. now things are looking fairly clear and the rain is well to the south of the bay area. we'll talk about the wind speeds and our chance of rain in a few minutes. mike is checking out local road closures. >> highway 9, highway 17 are open for business in the area of the bear fire. i want to pull up the list. take a look here. these are the closures, local closures. not evacuations. closures including bear creek and deer creek where the activity has been all morning. we're talking about other areas in santa cruz and santa clara counties. we'll send it back to you. >> mike, we take you back to sky ranger over the santa cruz mountains where the evacuation orders are mandatory and still in effect. we have grant cappen on the phone who lives in boulder creek though is not evacuated. what are you seeing near your
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home grant? >> i'm looking over the ridge and it looks like a volcano went off. the smoke is getting lower and i can see it around the trees. we have a canyon and a river between us. we haven't been evacuated yet but we're keeping our eyes open. a lot of fire trucks coming through. basically started about 10:30 last night and hasn't stopped. >> we know we have seen that cloud of smoke sitting over head because there isn't a lot of wind activity but you mentioned it looks like a volcano. have you seen the difference in the quality of the smoke because it looks from here the smoke appears darker. >> yes. it's darker and redder and it was higher up in the sky but seems to be closer to the tree lines now filling into the valley. >> talk to us about when you first saw the flames. were you nervous? did you think you needed to evacuate or you felt pretty safe? >> with all the news going on
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right now regarding all the fires, yeah, we're concerned. my girlfriend is coming back from the east bay. we got to get the animals together and just trying to figure out what we need to do, get a plan together. >> right now you and people in your home are trying to figure out what do we need to take if we have to leave immediately is that what you're saying? >> yes. that's correct. we have animals so we have to make accommodations for that. >> a reminder that officials always say take what you need to go, take your pets, take your medicines, just in case you can't go back for a while. we know you're not under evacuation but that could change as the temperatures change as the humidity changes. hopefully you will be ready. can you talk about what you're seeing at this point? you mentioned you're seeing fire crews coming in by ground. have you seen the critical air drops? >> i have not.
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not yet. hoping they come soon though. >> talk to us about that -- i know you said your girlfriend was coming from the east bay. did she say anything about the commute? was it hard for her to get back to the house? >> yes. she's having trouble. she's coming down highway 9. looks like there's a path to get through that way. but she said it's traffic trying to get in. >> we know the local roads are very tight in some spots, grant. so hopefully folks will mind those road blocks and stay off the road. we'll take you back over to sky ranger over the scene as we have been sitting on top of the santa cruz mountains all morning lot and we'll check with scott magrue. not too far from little towns around there. >> we have also checked some of the structures that you have seen from sky ranger and there
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aren't many. our hearts certainly go out to those people that own those structures or maybe they are their houses but there are not many of them. i do have a map that hopefully gets you oriented. the bear creek road where it makes that funny jog is where the fire is and so loscados is up here, nine miles and the big town of boulder creek is down here, about 5,000 people. also this is redwoods that are about 1,800 years old. we understand moving north, the fire. there's two vineyards. if you have been up in that area you may know that. but again, not a lot of homes. we have been talking about 100, 100 plus evacuated. certainly a fire that needs to be taken care of but as we have seen, we have not seen in the north bay where so much -- so
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many homes were so close. the nearest big town the boulder creek with the fire moving northward at this point. >> thank you for helping us orient ourselves there for folks not from the santa cruz mountain do stay clear from the roadway. thanks scott. >> we continue to follow the fire right now. as we can tell you 125 acres are burning there. 150 homes have been evacuated. we're going to take a quick break and we'll be back with more updates on this boulder creek fire. so why not take someone that you see all the time. someone like, i dunno, me? i mean i always spell your name right and put a little unicorn in your foam. no pressure but i really need to get out of here. they've been playing the same playlist for three months and i'm pretty sure you're not supposed to eat scones for dinner this many days in a row. mexico, hawaii, costa rica, i don't really know. i'm a quick packer. ♪
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evacuations in the santa cruz mountas. we continue to follow breaking news of mandatory evacuations in santa cruz where a wildfire is burning out of control in the boulder creek area. >> as you can see right there the clouds of smoke as the fire continues to burn.
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we can tell you that five firefighters have been hurt but all expected to be okay. this is the bear fire burning in boulder creek and bear creek canyon not far from -- >> more than 125 acres estimated to have burned in that rugged terrain. >> we know that 150 homes have been evacuated. one structure confirmed destroyed by this and this is where they -- the firefighters believe that fire started. nbc bay area sky ranger is live right now. nbc today in the bay's bob is live on the phone. explain how the conditions have changed and what are you seeing right now? >> one thing we got from the division chief from cal fire is that the weather conditions are favorable for fighting the fire. they're not ideal but they're not something where we saw a week ago where the winds were
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whipping. you've got humidity but not the winds. i don't know if you can see from the nbc bay area sky ranger but there is an air attack going on right now with cal fire. one chopper is siphoning water from a nearby reservoir or pond and trying to dump the water on the mountain side where the fire is burning. that is crucial because there's limited access. you can only get up there by foot. that's why they've had to increase the number of firefighters out here. there are now 250 men and women -- >> we appeared to have lost connection with bob. he said 250 cal fire firefighters along with santa clara county fire, santa cruz as well and they are working hard on the ground and also getting that aerial help as the drops of water and retardant have begun. we're waiting for daylight for that to happen and with daylight often comes the wind however you can see from the stagnant smoke wind does not appear to be a factor at this point.
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let's check with carrie hall to see how long that will work in the firefighters' favor. >> that will work in their favor throughout the day. that is good news as we get the live look over san jose and the smokey conditions we are seeing as you head out on this tuesday morning. as we get a look at where this wildfire is happening right now, we have been showing you the maps and the location. bear creek road off of highway 35. this is just to the west of highway 17. so this does not affect the road as we heard from mike. but just to get you oriented where it gets really curvy off of bear creek road we have steep terrain and also a lot of fuel there that has been giving these wildfires a little bit more of the energy to work with. as we look at our temperatures it's starting out nice and cool in the lower 60s. our highs today reaching into the mid 70s. we talked about how long would the winds stay calm. we at least have a few more
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hours but as we go through the day our winds changing direction at about 5 to 10 miles per hour. not a huge increase in the wind speeds throughout the day and looking at some very low humidity. one other thing i'm watching on the radar well off shore is a cluster of clouds, a disturbance producing some lightning and more rain developing, stretching closer to the santa cruz mountains. this is something we'll have to monitor throughout the day for the potential of some more dry lightning and the potential of spreading -- the increase of the wind speeds as we go through today. a lot to watch as we go into this afternoon but as far as the humidity, it is very light. we will see the humidity slowly starting to increase as we go through the day and as we head over to mike, you have been tracking some of the road closures and getting people around that area. >> that's right. hey, we're going to take a look at the map. we'll show you the traffic.
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17 as you talk about hasn't been a problem and the fires that carrie showed you bear fire right there. over the rainy season last year -- or last rainy season highway 35 resulted in traffic restriction north of favor ridge road and that's one of the evacuation areas. highway 35 -- bear creek in this area has restricted access. a washout going on there. locals are aware of the closures. aside from the restrictions we have highway 9 moving smoothly here. down farther south and brookdale area as well. highway 17. bob talked about the restriction of water access in the area. let me show you. the fire was over there. that's lexington reservoir. across highway 17 it's quite possible folks driving on 17 will see the helicopters flying over. i can't confirm that.
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there might be that distraction. that's what's going on. continue to focus on the roadway because it can be tough as you get through the windier sections on highway 17. that is a concern for folks and if you see any of the crews traveling down 17 or getting off and toward the area make way for those crews. they have been following that battle since early morning hours. with the sunlight coming up more smoke but not any additional complicatio complications. and the air crews coming over and heading toward the bear creek area and from the south. we'll send it back to you. >> thank you very much, mike. nbc bay area cry ranger live overhead. you can see some of the flames burn there in that thick vegetation and that steep grade there and that is where some of the firefighters were injured. we were talking about the steep grade, at least five firefighters injured, minor injuries at this point. they are going to be okay. we have been on the phone with
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folks in the boulder creek area. we want to know how they're feeling, what they're seeing at this point. this is a map of where the fire was burning. you can see the boulder creek area there, that is the biggest town near there and some folks in a diner and in a store and they say they have definitely started to smell the smell of smoke into the town. >> as you can imagine that is likely to happen as we look at sky ranger right now. you can see how thick the smoke is in the area and dark. right now as you're looking at your screen you're probably trying to figure out what are you looking at but this is below a lot of the vegetation. if you look right there to the right side of your screen -- or almost in the middle you can see the flames continue to burn right there and that is what's causing a big problem, not just there but 125 acres burning throughout the night. it started with one structure
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around the 10:00 hour last night and that quickly spread to the vegetation and to what we see there. we have been talking to crews and this spread quickly from 5 to 10 acres and then we heard about 125 acres that happened rapidly. you're thinking about the conditions that firefighters are dealing with right now. the terrain there is very steep. a lot of trees. we talked about the heavy rains that we had last winter that really fueled and now new vegetation is growing in that area. another condition that i thought was interesting as we talked to people. as well as garvin thomas talking about the low wires in the area. you also have the damaged roads from last winter's storm. >> highway 35. >> that happened. and the access roads, two lanes right there. you're having the massive trucks and things coming through trying to get all the equipment to the area to try to battle the fire causing a lot of hardships for the firefighters but they are continuing to battle the fire.
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zero containment at this hour but hopefully that will change soon. >> we also want to talk with dr. lori bruton. we want to assure folks that school is in session but one of your schools right? >> yes. that's correct. our tri campus. sld high school and middle school and elementary, they're all in session. our boulder creek school in boulder creek was closed because that facility is used as an evacuation site. we have several families there currently with students and pets. most of the evacuees have been transferred to the ziante fire station. so there are two evacuation sites. one is boulder creek elementary and the other is the ziante fire station. >> i know a lot of kids are in
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school and some are worried about what's going on after seeing what happened in the north bay. what's the plan? i'm sure you continue to monitor the fire and its proximity to schools. kind of walk me through your plan this morning. >> to tell you the truth, we are doing our best to monitor where we have cell service or internet service. currently our internet into our school site is down due to a connection with our county office. we have limited information about the fire. we are depending on people who have cable or internet to be able to communicate with us and let us know how it's going to communication on the public. >> that's got to be worrisome for parents. >> yes. it's not related to the fire in any way. they're working on it currently to have it back up and running. we have all our students in session on the tri campus and if
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there's any issue with the fire moving this direction, parents will be notified. we will give them a call or a dial-out. we had emergency conditions here before with flooding and different things. we called school off in the middle of the school day and we notify every parent even if we're all using cell phones to do so but we will do that. we also have transportation department. so we have buses. so we can evacuate our site with our school buses and let parents know where the location is at that their students will be at. >> let me ask you about a secondary issue. during the north bay wildfires, the smoke from napa county went everywhere and was made for very difficult and unhealthy conditions. are you concerned about the air quality situation for your student? is there a plan to keep them indoors for your rainy day recess? >> right now the air
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conditioners are not critical. if it starts to get that way, we have been on an air alert because of the direction of the wind. right now there's no wind. it's cool. i'm going to say hazy or foggy but there's a lot of dampness and water in the air. that helps in this situation. >> dr. lori bruton of the san lorenzo valley school district. she said the san lorenzo valley high school, middle and elementary school, your kids are due in class and if they are not there yet they are late. only boulder creek elementary school is impacted by this fire and not by the fire itself only because it is open to evacuees. thank you so much for joining us. nbc sky ranger over the scene of the fire where we have 0%
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containment. 125 acres already burned and that was at last check. right now we don't know what the update is. we know there are cal fire helicopters spotting overhead so they will likely change that burn area to a larger acreage at some point because this has been burning out of control since it was sparked by a house fire around 10:30 last night. it started with the house fire at 10:30 and went to a grass fire into a forest fire and that's where we have been and we have been seeing those evacuations triggered right around the midnight hour. some folks happened to be awakened in the middle of the night, saw the flames and said it's time to get out feeling a little ptsd from the north bay wildfires. >> the good thing about that, the people getting up and getting out and really some people going before the mandatory evacuations which is something that is a good thing because firefighters say when
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situations like this happen and they have the evacuations it's best to get everyone out and no one wanting to stay around because that stops their progress of getting that fire under control. also good thing that we have heard -- we haven't heard of injuries other than firefighters. and certainly the thing about those is that those five firefighters hurt are all expected to be okay. so that's a good situation as they continue to battle the fire. >> this map just to give you perspective on where that evacuation zone is, it surrounds the area of boulder creek canyon road. the deer creek and bear creek road. in that area is bob lewis who lives in the evacuation area in boulder creek and is out of his home. what can you tell us how you came to know you needed to leave? >> well, it was a matter of judgment on my part to tell you the truth. we got a call at 4:00 and it took me until 7:00 to get everything together including four dogs, a bird and some
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computer valuables and what not and i got the heck out. i live on loggan creek road whih is about three ridges over from the fire. >> where did you go? >> pretty close. >> yeah. yeah. i went up highway 90, got to downtown boulder creek and here at the boulder creek company having coffee and walking my dog. >> so four dogs, one bird and you managed to grab your computer. clearly you live with the possibility that this could happen? >> yeah. so i planned it well. managed to get out before it hit even close. it was going to opposite direction for a while but now the smoke is coming this way and the sun is nice bright orange now instead of a dark orange as it was coming up. >> always makes for a dramatic sunrise. thank you so much for joining us bob lewis out of boulder creek. if the situation changes please remember to get back in touch
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with us. if you have pictures of what you're seeing send them to the chopper over the scene. the smoke is still billowing but flames are on the ground there in the thick vegetation. a lot of foliage and as the cal fire deputy chief told us earlier critical dryness for some of those fuel that is are ready to just take off. >> 250 to 300 firefighters battling this fire right now. we are going to take a quick break but we will be back as we continue to monitor the boulder creek fire happening right now. breaking news -- mandatory
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evacuations in the santa cruz mountains. a wildfire burning near homes near the boulder creek area. ad-lib latest nbc bay area skyranger live. --firefighter has fallen 50 feet. -5 in total hurt. -3 minor injuries. --bear fire burning in boulder creek .. in bear creek canyon not far from ben lomond -- 125+ acres estimated burned -- burning in rugged terrain -- 100 homes evacuated


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