Crews from CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), UC Santa Cruz, and California State Parks are planning a controlled burn on 31 acres at Marshall Field on August 5. The burn date is subject to change, depending on weather conditions, resource availability, and fire activity in the region. (See CAL FIRE press release.)
As currently planned, the burn would begin at 9 a.m. and is expected to last most of the day.
Marshall Field, located at the northern end of the UCSC campus, and the upper portion of Wilder Ranch will be closed to the public during the activity. There may be minor traffic delays on Empire Grade during the burn.
Smoke will be visible but is not cause for alarm. As with any controlled burn in the vicinity of UCSC, however, there is a possibility of smoke affecting the campus. Those who may encounter health problems related to smoke exposure should take appropriate precautions.
Controlled burns are one of the tools CAL FIRE uses to assist landowners with habitat maintenance and reduction of fire hazard. Burning under prescribed conditions is beneficial for coastal grassland habitats to reduce non-native species and increase the abundance and diversity of California grasses and wildflowers.
For updated information on the schedule of this burn, please contact Angela Bernheisel, CAL FIRE's vegetation management program coordinator, at (831) 335-6794.