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Atmospheric River: Santa Cruz, San Mateo County Officials Lift Evacuation Orders For CZU Fire Burn Zone

BOULDER CREEK (CBS SF) -- With skies clearing and a potent atmospheric river moving southward, Santa Cruz and San Mateo County officials announced Monday they were lifting evacuation orders for residents living in or near the burn scar left by 2020's massive CZU Complex Fire.

The order went into effect on Sunday for parts of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties where fears were elevated concerning the ability of the fire-ravaged areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains to withstand the torrential downpours.

The National Weather Service reported that 7 inches of rain fell in the mountain community of Ben Lomond over the last 24 hours, but the hillsides appeared to hold.

KPIX 5 Weather Center: Current Conditions, Maps, Forecasts For Your Area

Many residents had ignored the order and rode out the storm in their homes.

"Yeah, we're going to stick around," Boulder Creek resident Steven Coleman told KPIX 5 on Saturday night. "Where else are we going to go?"

Those staying cited their experience of dealing with big storms, evacuation fatigue, and fear of looting.

"We gonna stay unless it becomes unsafe," said Coleman.

"We've decided to stay," said another resident Gloria Sitz.

Most people like Sitz either stayed with family and friends or paid for hotel rooms for more than a month during the CZU fire evacuation last year.

They said they don't want to deal with that anymore.

"In my particular location, we have a generator, we have chainsaws, we know how to use them and we're prepared," said Sitz.

There were lines at the local gas station in Boulder Creek Saturday night as local residents were filling up gas cans to power their generators.

"If the power goes out, we have extra power," said Alfredo Ramirez, who just filled up a five-gallon can. He also stayed put.

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