This was taken by a firefighter who’s my friend’s brother, he’s over on the Santa Cruz side of the mountains helping fight the fires over there caused by recent lightning strikes. These are part of the “CZU lightning complex” (https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/):
In the foreground is the Santa Cruz boardwalk, with downtown behind it. On the other side of the hill where the fire is burning, there are several small towns. So far evacuations have occurred in multiple towns in the Santa Cruz mountains in both San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, including Pescadero, San Gregorio, La Honda, Skylonda, Boulder Creek, Felton, Scotts Valley and the University of California Santa Cruz campus. This is all about 20 miles away from where I live as the crow flies, on the other side of the Santa Cruz mountains. This fire has so far destroyed 97 structures. It is being given a high priority by firefighters because so many homes are threatened. But resources are stretched thin because we have so many fires all over the state, totalling over 800,000 acres with many of them contained 15% or less.
My heart goes out to those whose homes are threatened. Anyone complaining about the smoky air needs to realize some people have it a lot worse.