Fires started by lightning that have been burning since Sunday in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties have covered the area in smoke, but they pose no immediate threat to Tracy residents or need for evacuations.
Tracy’s local fire department, the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority, put out a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to concern about evacuation orders in neighboring counties.
The Canyon Zone fires south of Tracy, burning in and around Del Puerto Canyon northwest of Patterson, are part of a collection of 20 fires in several counties designated by Cal Fire as the SCU Lightning Complex. The other fires are grouped into the Deer Zone and Calaveras Zone. By Wednesday morning, they had collectively burned 85,000 acres and were only 5% contained.
An orange glow in the sky to the south and flames visible Tuesday night, along with heavy clouds of smoke, have put some people in the Tracy area on edge.
The fire department confirmed Wednesday that there were no evacuation warnings or orders for the Tracy area or within San Joaquin County, and none were expected.
The fire is expected to grow to the south and east over the next 48 hours, and smoke will remain throughout the area. Officials are preplanning for potential impacts and making contingency plans for areas within the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority jurisdiction. However, the fire department does not anticipate any need to evacuate area residents.
Earlier Wednesday, some local residents had received emergency alerts from Alameda County about evacuations in the Livermore area that had a "Tracy, CA" heading, leading to confusion and concern.
People in Tracy and other parts of San Joaquin County can sign up for local emergency alert notifications at sjready.org, the website of the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services. The notification system provides critical information for emergency situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures and evacuations of neighborhoods.
More on the Canyon Zone fires from our colleagues at the Patterson Irrigator:
Mandatory evacuation ordered for residents on Del Puerto Canyon Road (Monday, 4:31 p.m.)
Mandatory evacuation orders for residents on Del Puerto Canyon Road have been issued by Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse this evening in response to an ongoing fire situation burning in the canyon area.
Diablo Grande residents are being issued voluntary evacuation orders as a warning to residents living in the area.
Canyon fire evacuation center established at Creekside Middle School (Monday, 8:19 p.m.)
Emergency officials in conjunction with Patterson Joint Unified School District have established an evacuation center site at Creekside Middle School at 535 Peregrine Drive.
Diablo Grande community warning upgraded to mandatory evacuation (Wednesday, 5 p.m.)
Fire conditions have not improved near the Diablo Grande community leading to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office announcing that the evacuation for residents living in the area is now mandatory.