Weekend UCSC Fire Update

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Dear UC Santa Cruz community,

Through the tireless work of CAL FIRE and first responders, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that threatens our campus is now 5% contained. CAL FIRE created fire breaks from Highway 1 to Highway 9 to help decrease the threat of fire to additional areas, including UC Santa Cruz and the city of Santa Cruz. This has been an incredible effort and we cannot thank our firefighters, the teams that support them, and our staff members who have supported this effort enough. However, we know that the situation could change quickly and everyone must remain evacuated from our campus and alert to changing conditions.

We are happy to report that all of the students who could proactively depart from campus are accounted for. Thanks to the generosity of San Jose State University, over 30 evacuated UCSC students have been relocated to SJSU residence halls where they are also supported by two of our fantastic housing staff members. We are also working to ensure support for all students who live in the greater Santa Cruz area.

We remain grateful to the Seaside Company for facilitating a campus evacuation center at the Boardwalk and for the use of the Cocoanut Grove kitchen allowing our amazing Dining team to prepare meals for our evacuated students and employees and continue their work supporting the county and first responders. Our UCSC emergency team and first responders sprang into action earlier this week and have worked tirelessly to coordinate both the evacuation and support of displaced students and employees. Given UCSC’s role in our community, the ability to stand up our own evacuation center helped to reduce the impacts on the Red Cross and County efforts to shelter community evacuees.

With so many fires burning across Northern California, two of our sites outside of Santa Cruz have been impacted by different fires. I want to share that the SCU Lightning Complex Fire has passed through the Lick Observatory site . Every person who was on site is safe. Only one unused building was lost on the site and all of the historic telescopes were saved. The heroism and tireless work of CAL FIRE, first responders, and the observatory staff is in evidence in this time lapse video that shows just how close the fire came. We also have good news about the Landis Hill - Big Creek Reserve on the Big Sur coast, which has been threatened by the Dolan Fire . Though some areas of the reserve are still burning, the natural reserve staff are all safe. We are so grateful that thanks to the quick work by fire crews and our UCSC staff, as well as the staff’s foresight around fire preparedness, the research and residential buildings at the reserve have been saved.

Friday evening, Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Sarah Latham shared a survey to gather information from students and employees who have lost their homes so that we can provide support. Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success Jennifer Baszile shared a survey for off-campus students to assess their situation and needs. You can find all of our messages regarding the fire and consistent updates at ucsc.edu/fire .

While we currently have favorable weather conditions, that can change at any point and we know that dry lightning and less-favorable wind is in the forecast. Please continue to follow all evacuation warnings and orders and be prepared for sudden changes. Our Banana Slug community has come together in such incredible ways and it is the efforts of each of you that have made it possible for us to have a little good news to share today. I will provide another update early next week although you may receive operational updates if the situation changes. Until then, stay safe, stay well, and stay connected.