Critical update on wildfires in Santa Cruz—preparation for potential evacuation

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Sarah Latham, Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services

We continue to closely track the wildfires impacting the county of Santa Cruz and the region. At this point, there are no active fires on campus properties in Santa Cruz County. However, conditions can change rapidly and we are being vigilant in our preparations. Air quality also remains a concern throughout the area.

Should a campus evacuation be necessary, a CruzAlert will be sent. Please heed the CruzAlert. The CruzAlert will outline the actions to take and the evacuation location to report to. As we prepare for a potential evacuation, the following is critical:

  • Though most operations are currently remote due to COVID-19, it is important to minimize the number of people on campus who would have to be evacuated. We ask that managers and supervisors limit, to the extent possible, the number of people working on-site, unless their role is in direct support of fire response, COVID-19 mitigation, or other essential functions needed to support those living on campus or supporting critical infrastructure. 
  • If you live on campus and you have a safe place to relocate to out of the area, we continue to strongly encourage you to proactively relocate. This reduces the number of people on campus we need to evacuate and also reduces additional strain on traffic and the roadways leading into and out of the Santa Cruz area. Some roadways, including Empire Grade and Highway 1 headed north of Western Drive, are closed to prevent individuals traveling into areas within the evacuation zone.
  • Please be prepared for a quick evacuation whether you live on campus or in the region. An emergency can strike quickly. Advance notice may be very brief. Please continue to follow the Red Cross evacuation preparation guidance. More information can be found on the Red Cross Wildfire Safety website.
    • Be ready in a moment’s notice; be sure to pack belongings such as clothing, non-perishable foods for you and your service or support animal if you have one, medications and copies of important documents.
    • If you have not already done so, sign up for or update your UCSC Cruz Alert notifications here -- this is among the most effective means for receiving urgent campus-specific information and updates. Updates may also be found here.
    • Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
    • Students living on campus who do not have access to a vehicle will receive directions from the campus in the event evacuation is deemed necessary. Transit support will be provided to move you from campus to a UCSC evacuation site.
    • Please have your University ID or other form of identification with you if you plan to go to the UCSC evacuation site.
    • It may be helpful to bring your own bed linens, pillows, towels, etc.
    • More information can be found on the Red Cross Wildfire Safety website
  • Continue to follow COVID-19 prevention best practices, including wearing a face covering and physical distancing. 

Continue to check our fire update webpage for additional information.

Residents who would like to receive email updates from CalFire can opt-in here

I continue to be grateful for everyone who is working tirelessly to support our campus efforts.