Fire Impacts

A few state parks in the region remain closed due to the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that burned in the Santa Cruz Mountains in August and September of 2020. Closures include:

Please be safe and avoid closed areas. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will provide park-related updates on social media.

Friends Fire Fund aids State Parks with wildfire recovery 

In response to the wildfire, we quickly established the Friends Fire Fund to provide direct assistance for those most affected, followed by investmentsin recovery for our damaged parks.

Thanks to an incredible outpouring of support, as well as generous grants from the California State Parks Foundation and Mountain Parks Foundation, we’ve raised enough to support the State Park and Friends staff most impacted by the fires. We’re happy to announce personal Fire Fund grants have been quickly distributed to help cover those catastrophic losses. 

Park recovery work has begun. The Fire Response Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County awarded us a grant to complete an innovative, high-tech damage assessment necessary to begin recovery work at Big Basin. The Friends and State Parks team quickly swung into action, completed the fieldwork and are now compiling the information to move recovery forward. 

We’re proud of the work so far, which has been made possible by our generous park community! If you haven’t given already, we invite you to join us in this effort.

To support the recovery effort, please considera gift to the Friends Fire Fund.

Big Basin Redwoods SP Update

California State Parks is updating the public on the status of the structures destroyed at Big Basin Redwoods State Park from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that continues to burn in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. However, due to extensive damage and hazardous conditions, State Parks has not fully assessed the damage to all the structures, including historic ones built in the 1930s, and the treasured old-growth redwood trees inside California’s oldest state park. The department advises the public not to enter the park as it remains closed. As of today, these are the structures the department can confirm were destroyed:
  • Historic Park Headquarters
  • Historic (Main) lodge
  • Ranger Station
  • Nature Museum
  • Store
  • Maintenance Shop
  • Multiple park residences, including some Saddle Mountain Property structures
  • Multiple campground bathrooms
  • Gatehouse
  • Bridge between North Escape Road and Gazos Creek Road
  • Many structures at Little Basin
  • Jay Camp Seasonal Housing
Notably, the park’s wastewater plant survived the fire undamaged. The plant processes wastewater for the entire park, including its campgrounds, residences and administrative and maintenance buildings. Its continued functionality is an essential element to rebuilding the park in the future.

Read more about the status of the Coast Redwoods, the campgrounds (which remain closed) and the park history here.