Prescribed burns near campus beginning Oct. 10

To: UCSC Community

From: Public Affairs

California State Parks has announced that it will be conducting prescribed burns in Wilder Ranch and Año Nuevo State Parks October 10-13 and potentially beyond those dates throughout the month of October.

The prescribed burns are scheduled between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. All burning will depend on weather and air-quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not conducive for burning, the burns will be rescheduled.

Wilder Ranch is a 7,000-acre state park west of UC Santa Cruz that goes from the coastline into the mountains. Roughly 300 acres of a variety of forest and grassland habitats will be burned. Some trails may be closed temporarily to ensure public safety, such as Englesmann Loop, Eucalyptus Loop, Old Cabin and Long Meadow Trail.

Año Nuevo State Park is in San Mateo County and includes Año Nuevo Island and properties on the western slope of the coast range inland from Año Nuevo Point. Roughly 145 acres of coastal prairie habitat will be burned along the ocean side of Highway 1. The section of Whitehouse Creek Trail from Highway 1 to the beach access will be closed during burning operations.

These burns are part of the prescribed fire program for vegetation management, hazardous fuel-load reduction, wildlife-habitat improvement, and other ecological benefits.The treatment will enhance the health of the forest by removing duff, leaf litter and fuel buildup and restore essential nutrients to the soil and reduce the chance of wildfires.

WHAT TO DO: If you are affected by air-quality issues, stay indoors or leave the immediate area. Close windows until the burn has concluded. You can find information on the Air Quality Index (AQI) and local air-monitoring resources online. In addition, Environmental Health & Safety provides information on wildfire smoke and ways to protect yourself.

Campus affiliates with respiratory illness, other medical conditions that may be exacerbated by smoke exposure, and any others that may be concerned about their smoke particulate exposure may pick up filtering masks (N95s) from the following locations: 

  • McHenry Library: Circulation Desk
  • Science and Engineering Library: Circulation Desk
  • Bay Tree Bookstore: Help Desk

REDUCE EXPOSURE: If the AQI is in the unhealthy, very unhealthy, or hazardous ranges, limit your outdoor activities and stay inside with the windows and doors closed, or if possible, leave the area. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your airway moist and easier to clear. If you are feeling ill due to poor air quality, seek advice from your medical provider.

For more information, please visit our wildland fire resource pages at:

Emergency Procedure - Building Fire and Wildland Fire

Wildfire Smoke - Employee Protection from Wildfire Smoke

Press Release: Wilder Ranch SP and Ano Nuevo SP Prescribed Fires