Wildfire forces evacuations in California mountains

A "Reverse 911" - automated phone alerts for homes - was also deployed to warn area residents, and Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies were going door to door calling out evacuation orders on loudspeakers and clearing each home individually. In this photo taken Monday, Sept. 27, 2016, the Loma Fire rages on the Santa Cruz Mountains summit beyond the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Oliver said the fire, coming at the height of California's wildfire season, has the potential to balloon in size. Additional evacuation orders were issued Tuesday for residents in the Loma Prieta ridgeline area, officials said.

The area hasn't seen a major blaze in about 15 years, he said. The command center for the fire is at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. The flames also are burning close to television and radio towers.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

The only good news for firefighters battling the Loma blaze is that winds will be tamed Tuesday, forecasters said.

The Loma fire broke out as temperatures in the area reached 100 degrees and authorities were already gauging fire risks for the rest of the week.

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The blaze is in the area of Loma Prieta and Loma Chiquita roads in Santa Clara County, west of Morgan Hill, and is spreading at a rapid rate in the southeast direction toward open space, Cal Fire said.

In Sonoma County, more than a 1,000 firefighters have gained the upper hand on the Sawmill fire, which started Sunday off Big Geysers and Geysers Resort roads.

Efforts to contain the fire included helicopters and planes dropping fire retardant along Loma Prieta ridge.

Overnight, they set up dozer lines to box the fire inside the lines and protect structures. It started on Monday about 3 p.m. The fire is 81% contained.

Hundreds of people were evacuated after the fire broke out Monday amid a heat wave, and more residents were ordered to leave as the flames spread overnight.

In La Cañada Flintridge, roughly five-acres of brush behind a YMCA were reported burning around 9 p.m.