CZU Lightning Complex Fire

By peterm, 18 December, 2023

After thinking COVID was the big story for us in 2020, the fire started. Early on 8/16/2020 lightning strikes north of Santa Cruz set off fires that eventually coalesced into the CZU Complex Fire.

We watched the reports and were fine for the first few days. By the 19th, we were seeing lots of ash and large, burnt tips of oaks land on our driveway and cars. We had been preparing to bug out as the news worsened.


Our first plan was to move our valuables to Spring St and get the cats into Kitty Hill. Lynda got the cats into Kitty Hill where they stayed for about a day. The situation was getting worse. Kitty Hill let us know that we'd have to find elsewhere to board as they came under evacuation warning. 

We were in a similar position with Mom up at Spring St. We were working on a backup plan to move her out of the county in a series of handoffs should that have become necessary.



By the 20th, neighbours were evacuating and we decided to head south to Carmel. Close enough to get back should we need to move Mom and we could visit Steve and James where we had moved them. Lynda found a place in Monterey that took them for a couple of weeks. Smoke was getting thicker, sky was oranger and the power was shut off. Time to go.


We were some of the last folks out of Forest Lakes. As we made our exit we weren't completely sure what we'd come back to. As it turns out, we were very blessed.