September 1, 2020
  • county of san mateo joint information center

    Local Assistance Center Opens
    Residents impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex fires can now find an array of government and additional services at a Local Assistance Center now open in Pescadero.

    The center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Pescadero Elementary School, 620 North St., Pescadero. Map Link.

    As of today, the center is staffed by representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency who can assist residents with applying for assistance through

    Starting tomorrow, the center will include representatives from the following agencies and organizations:

    • California Department of Insurance
    • California Department of Motor Vehicles
    • California Department of Public Health Vital Records
    • California Department of Social Services
    • San Mateo County Human Services Agency
    • San Mateo County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures
    • San Mateo County Veterans Services Office
    • San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
    • Puente de la Costa Sur
    • San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group

    Note: All visitors must wear a face covering to comply with health orders.

    No appointments are necessary. The County is working to provide a full list of what services are and will be available at

    A temporary evacuation center established at Half Moon Bay High School will close this evening as services move to the Local Assistance Center.

    People who suffered losses from the fires should contact their insurance companies first. Insurance delivers the majority of financial help in disasters. For losses not covered by insurance, people can register for disaster assistance in three ways: online through, by using the FEMA App or by calling 800-621-3362.

    Learn more about the process and how to apply by visiting the California Office of Emergency Services website.

    Fire Update
    The fire as of this morning has consumed 85,218 acres across San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Containment has grown to 43 percent.

    CalFire reported the fire destroyed 921 homes and damaged another 90 across both counties. Approximately 35,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders, the majority in Santa Cruz County.

    Re-Entry Plans and Process
    Firefighters, utility workers, and heavy equipment operators are busy working to mitigate safety concerns, to ensure that residents can return home safely. 

    Many known and unknown hazards exist following an intense fire.  This includes fire-weakened or dead trees that can fall without warning, burned-out stumps that can contain holes under trails, and damage to parking areas and roads.

    There are many considerations before allowing an area to repopulate.  A methodical, multi-pronged process of inspection and evaluation must be conducted to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all affected residents.

    With evacuation orders lifted in some areas, San Mateo County evacuees should check an online database available at to determine if their home is now accessible.

    Evacuees may also call 2-1-1 to speak with a trained professional to learn if their address is accessible. 2-1-1 is a free service available in more than 150 languages operated in cooperation with United Way of the Area.

    Evacuees temporarily housed in hotels with vouchers should not check out until confirming their home is accessible. Assistance in hotel lobbies is available from the American Red Cross. Approximately 360 evacuees remain lodged in hotels in San Mateo County.

    Public safety officials are working on re-opening plans for areas that remain under evacuation orders.

    Road Closures
    The following roads are closed until further notice (this updated as of 3 p.m. today):

    1. Highway 1 at Gazos Creek Road
    2. Cloverdale Road at Butano Cutoff
    3. Pescadero Creek Road at Butano Cutoff
    4. Pescadero Creek Road at Burns Valley Road  

    County officials continue to as that non-residents avoid travel to the south coast area to keep roads clear for first responders and returning evacuees.

    County Parks Remain Closed
    All San Mateo County Parks are remain closed until further notice as park rangers are supporting firefighting efforts.

    Please do not attempt to enter Pescadero, Sam McDonald or Memorial Park from any entrance point as these parks remain in the fire zone. We thank you for your support and patience.

    Coyote Point Marina tenants will have access to boats. Please support everyone's efforts by respecting closures at park entrances and trail heads.

    Animal Evacuees
    More than 800 large animals as well as many small animals remain evacuated and cared for by volunteer organizations and other agencies. To inquire about a large animal, contact the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group:

    Robin Camozzi 650-450-0516 or Laura Camozzi 650-450-0520

    For dogs, cats and exotics, contact the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA at 650-340-7022.

    Additional Information and Resources:

    For additional information when returning home, refer to

    Click on the link, “Post wildfire” for safety precautions.

    For electrical safety tips after a wildfire, refer to PG&E at

    To find the most current evacuation map, go to

    Sign up for CalFire email updates at

    Stay up-to date on air conditions at

    CALFire CZU San Mateo–Santa Cruz Unit Twitter Page:

    Sign up for SMC Alerts at

    Connect with the County of San Mateo on Facebook at

    Follow the County of San Mateo on Twitter at