Curtailing wildfire risks

To: UCSC Community

From: Nick Otis and Amanda Gullings, UC Santa Cruz Office of Emergency Services

In light of this past summer’s CZU Lightning Complex wildfires, which destroyed nearly 1,000 homes locally and forced the first-ever evacuation of our campus, UC Santa Cruz leaders and emergency officials have been closely watching fire conditions throughout the region. California remains in the midst of a serious drought and dangerously dry conditions are reported throughout the state.

The City of Santa Cruz recently announced that it has closed off-trail areas in city-owned wildland open spaces as a way to reduce fire risk. City-recognized trails and roads remain open to public use. Areas impacted by the order include Pogonip, Moore Creek, Sycamore Grove, Arana Gulch, and the DeLaveaga Wilderness. Two of those areas — Pogonip and Moore Creek — directly abut our campus, and there is concern that individuals camping illegally in those areas may move onto campus property.

This message is a reminder that camping and campfires are not permitted on campus land. We ask that members of our campus community observe this rule and report any camping activity or campfires seen on campus property by calling 911.

The danger to our campus is real and potentially devastating, as current dry conditions have created an explosive environment. The campus fire-danger is currently rated high. We must do our part to prevent a repeat of last summer’s devastating fire.

Additional signage reminding campus visitors of the no-camping or campfires rule will be posted soon across campus.

Anyone who smells smoke or sees a fire should immediately dial 911.

For more wildland fire information including campus prevention efforts, please visit the UC Santa Cruz wildland fire resource page