Redwood Estates area kept about 40 Cal Fire personnel busy who worked hard to quickly contain them.Update: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23: Two slash fires this morning reported at around 10 a.m. near Highway 17 and Summit Road in the
One fire was contained at about one-eighth of an acre and the other was contained at about half-an-acre at approximately 11:20 a.m., said Cal Fire Division Chief Jim Crawford.
"They were in some pretty heavy vegetation," Crawford said about the blazes.
Part of mopping up after the fires and making the area safe required firefighters to cut down some trees, which shut down southbound Highway 17 for a period of time to remove the debris.
The busy highway, which motorists reported was like a "parking lot" was shut down from Bear Creek to Summit roads, averting traffic around Old Santa Cruz Highway, Crawford said.
CHP assisted with traffic diversion, Crawford said.
The cause of the fires is under investigation and there were no injuries reported, Crawford said.
Cal Fire crews will remain on scene for a couple of more hours continuing the cleanup related to the blazes, he added. "Vegetation, forest was burning," he said. "Probably the size of the fires at this time of the year has a lot to do with how dry it's been."
Originally 75 firefighting personnel responded to the incident and then about 40 remained. One helicopter was also assisting until about 11 a.m., Crawford said.
Also, two water tenders from the Santa Cruz County Fire Department, assisted.
Cal Fire is battling two small slash fires near Summit Road and Highway 17 in Los Gatos causing major traffic backup on the highway.
A smoke column building from the fires can be seen from the highway, drivers are reporting.
Just after 1 p.m. today, Los Gatos Patch reader Sprocket Holland wrote on our Facebook page about the fires: "Just
now passed it. They are still fighting the fire it looks like. Southbound 17 is backed up for many miles ... the fire is right before
Summit Road. (southbound side) what a mess. Thankfully i saw the fire
from my house and got on 17 at Summit to go to Scotts Valley...no
traffic. But those poor people heading towards Santa Cruz I sure feel
sorry for them."
According to Loma Prieta Fire and Rescue of Santa Cruz County Fire Department Capt. Alex Leman two small fires ignited on the side of southbound Highway 17 between Redwood Estates and Summit Road in Los Gatos.
Leman said the fires are contained and crews are doing mop up.