The fire's outline
The outline of the fire at 5 p.m. on Friday. Image courtesy Google

Fire officials say favorable conditions helped them battle the CZU August Lightning Complex fires that have ravaged southern San Mateo and northern Santa Cruz counties over the last week. They said at a 6 p.m. news conference that they hope to make further progress through the night and in the coming days.

“Today was a good day for us,” said CalFire Chief Billy See.

Still, the fire has burned at least 57,000 acres and is now only 2 percent contained. So far, 1,157 firefighters are engaged in the battle that is just one of hundreds across the state. More help is on the way, CalFire officials say.

Satellite mapping technology showed the northern reach of the fire perilously close to Pescadero Creek Road in Loma Mar by 6 p.m. The proximity of the fire to the communities of Pescadero, San Gregorio and La Honda caused emergency officials to order evacuations on Thursday night. There have been no further evacuation warnings or orders in San Mateo County on Friday.

CalFire Chief Mark Brunton said the fire “mitigated slightly” on the northern edge near La Honda and Pescadero due to easing winds and higher humidity on Friday. Conditions are due to remain relatively favorable through the night.

“We’re looking to see what will happen tonight,” Brunton said. “Our expectation is the fire behavior should mitigate slightly. We can do pretty good work with the coming weather in the next couple of days.”

San Mateo and Santa Cruz county Sheriff’s officials say they have many deputies in the evacuated areas to assure property is protected throughout. They implore people to stay out of the way of firefighters until the orders are lifted.

Also today, California State Parks announced it was closing 29 facilities, including state beaches from San Gregorio south into Santa Cruz County. The closures include Bean Hollow, Pescadero, Pomponio and San Gregorio state beaches, the Pigeon Point Light Station and Butano State Park.

The closures dovetail with city of Half Moon Bay pleas for visitors to stay away from the coast at this time. The city has closed its own Poplar beach made multiple requests that visitors stay away to keep the roads open for emergency crews and evacuees.

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