Website Advertising California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation
Morgan Hill Liquors
Reader Poll
Do you think state testing scores for schools are an important and worthwhile evaluation tool for public school performance?

Total Votes: 113

View Results
Related Stories
 Not Just Horsin' Around
11:57 AM

 Conserve Water, District Implores
11:56 AM

 Sweeping Changes Arrive at VTA
11:46 AM

 The Nutrition Problem
11:45 AM

 City Pays $34,000 to Settle Taser Case
11:43 AM

 SM Township Efforts Move Forward
11:42 AM

 Quien Fire Contained to 486 Acres
11:40 AM

Homes in Morgan Hill are dwarfed by the smoke from a fire behind Findley Ridge in Henry Coe State Park that burned more than 50 acres by press time Monday.
Photo by: Chris Riley/Chief Photographer
Fire Burns in Henry Coe

10:59 AM
 By Christopher Quirk

Morgan Hill - A blaze has consumed 5,200 acres in and around Henry W. Coe State Park, destroyed an out-building and is threatening cabins to the south, park officials said.

The Lick Fire, as it has been labeled by fire officials, started in the rolling hills east of Morgan Hill at 1:45pm Monday and charred 50 acres behind Findley Ridge within 45 minutes thanks to a stiff wind and ample dry brush within the park, a CalFire dispatcher reported. As of 7am today, the fire was only 10 percent contained, was being fought by almost 1,200 firefighters and was expected to char about 10,000 acres by Tuesday night.

The fire burned a park out-building Monday night and threatens five more park buildings and 10 cabins near Poverty Flat, CalFire public information officer Herman Dekruyff said. Park and fire officials evacuated people in the area and three park rangers and their families. They also closed the park and portions of East Dunne Avenue and Cochrane Road.

If the fire spreads west, it could threaten homes in the Holiday Lakes Estate area, which are perched atop the dry hills, surrounded by trees and other vegetation.

Fighting the fire has been difficult because the park's terrain is steep and curvy, dispatchers said. This makes the blaze more dangerous for firefighters and more difficult to bring vehicles into the area.

"The small (fire engines) aren't doing much," Dekruyff said. "The helicopters aren't really doing much either."

This afternoon, CalFire is bringing in a DC-10 plane that can drop 12,000 gallons of water on the flames in hopes of scorching the fast moving fire, he said.

CalFire has set up a base camp in Gilroy's Christmas Hill Park, from where smoke could be seen billowing up into the blue sky Monday. The dark cloud, carried north by the wind, was visible across the Bay Area.

The last major fire close to Morgan Hill was the 2002 Croy fire, which burned 3,000 acres over seven days, destroying 34 homes and damaging others. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

If you have photos of or information about the fire, please e-mail or call 847-7037. Marilyn Dubil contributed reporting to this article.

Christopher Quirk
Christopher Quirk covers education for the Dispatch. Contact him at 847-7240 or

 Email a Friend  Print Reader Poll: vote now
Homes For Sale
 Gilroy 3BD sells for $639K...

 Gilroy 3BD jumps $140K in under thr...

 Hollister 4BD drops $42.5K in two y...

 San Jose investigator sells for $1....
See More Sell your home
Buy a Car
Sell your car today >>
Find a Job
Post your listing >>