Campus Fire Safety

To: UCSC Community

From: Jeff Trapp, Fire Chief

We live in a so-called Mediterranean climate, where most of the rain falls in winter and the following summer creates high fire potential. Each year in California, thousands of acres and hundreds of homes are destroyed by wildland and vegetation fires.
As you no doubt have observed and read about, California is experiencing a phenomenon in a weather pattern not experienced in 100 years.  The current dry conditions have created an explosive environment comparable to Southern California conditions in the summertime.
The threat of fire on our campus is very serious and potentially devastating
If we had experienced higher winds in recent weeks and months, I believe that we already would have seen more fires in our area of the state.  The fact is that winds will eventually come; we just hope that we experience some rain before that time.
What our community can do to help
Unfortunately we have experienced a rash of illegal campfires on campus since the beginning of the school year.  We are finding these sites abandoned and still burning long after the departure of individuals engaged in this dangerous activity.  Please be aware, these campfires and any open burning are illegal and prosecutable.  If you are aware of this activity taking place, we urge you to immediately call 911.
Suspicious Fires
During the past few months, our community has also experienced several arson fires in wooded areas throughout the campus.  Although the UC Santa Cruz Police Department has released a sketch of a person of interest, the suspect has not been identified.  We encourage you to be aware of your surroundings and immediately report all suspicious activity, especially fires or the smell of smoke, by calling 911.
Please be a part of a safe community and spread the word of these dangers to help preserve our beautiful living environment.
Should you have questions about fire safety, please call (831) 459-2343.
Thank you for your attention to this.