Santa Cruz IMC
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City of Santa Cruz Announces Park Closures
by Alex Darocy (alex [at]
Thursday Nov 15th, 2018 10:12 PM
Due to a recent string of "suspicious" fires, the City of Santa Cruz today announced the closure of the following parks: Pogonip, Arana Gulch, Moore Creek, DeLaveaga, and Arroyo Seco. "Police and Fire Investigators have aggressively investigated every fire, which has resulted in five arrests in the past four weeks," a press release from the city states. The parks will be closed indefinitely. [Top Photo: The Rincon Fire.]
While police have arrested at least two individuals specifically for arson, a press release issued by Cal Fire on November 9 charges that some of the fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains originated from "illegal campsites."

The Rincon Fire has been the largest of the recent fires in the area, burning 17 wooded acres and coming very close to homes in the Paradise Park area along Highway 9.

The homeless community has received some backlash from individuals on social media. Some of the comments have been preserved by the group "Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC" on their Facebook page. One called those involved with the recent incidents, "tweakers with fire".

City policy leaves homeless individuals continuing to be shuffled around the greenbelt. These latest park closures in Santa Cruz follow the closures of San Lorenzo and Grant Street Parks in October. As a result, homeless encampments have swelled around the city, including a new camp between Gateway Plaza and Highway 1, and some camping on Santa Cruz Main Beach.

Alex Darocy
§Rincon Fire - November 3
by Alex Darocy Thursday Nov 15th, 2018 10:12 PM
An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Rincon Fire.
§Pogonip Fire - November 13
by Alex Darocy Thursday Nov 15th, 2018 10:12 PM

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by City of Santa Cruz
Friday Nov 16th, 2018 1:11 AM
November 15
by Cal Fire
Friday Nov 16th, 2018 1:12 AM
November 9
by Trip Weir
Friday Nov 16th, 2018 2:42 PM
To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, let the homeless play golf! But no biking, hiking, or sitting in city parks.
by SC Sentinel
Wednesday Nov 21st, 2018 11:52 AM
The City Manager’s Office on Thursday shut down five open spaces — Pogonip, Arana Gulch, Moore Creek and DeLaveaga — around Santa Cruz to address concerns about illegal burning, which fueled the Rincon Fire, authorities have said.

More than 83 camps were cleared from the open spaces Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Hajduk said.

Despite rain in the midweek forecast, Hajduk said it is unclear when the ban will end.

“Any precipitation will decrease the fire threat,” Hajduk said. “Eliminating the open-space ban is contingent on how much rain we get and how it does with the fuel moistures.”

Read more:

Assessing the fire threat in Santa Cruz County
Post Date:11/21/2018 4:26 PM

Contact: Jim Frawley, Fire Chief, 831-420-5283


Santa Cruz (November 21, 2018) – As rain and a normal weather pattern return to Santa Cruz, the Fire Department has been regularly assessing the fuel conditions in the closed Wildland Urban Interface (the City’s greenbelt open space) areas surrounding the City of Santa Cruz. After thoughtful consideration, it has been determined that these public parklands need to remain closed through the Thanksgiving Weekend.

The fuel moisture remains critically low which could lead to explosive fire behavior. It will take several days of steady rain along with a favorable weather forecast to allow fuel moistures to recover, thereby reducing fire risk to an acceptable level.

Impacted areas are as follows:

Arana Gulch
Moore Creek
DeLaveaga with the exception of the golf course
Arroyo Seco

Since the closure, there have been no reported fires in the closed parks. Regular patrols have and will continue to occur. A number of persons have been contacted and they willingly complied with orders.

The City understands that these closures negatively impact those who responsibly enjoy public open spaces, and ask for their patience during this time. Community members are asked to be vigilant in contacting 911 if any illegal fires are observed. The public’s help is needed to ensure that fires are prevented or are immediately contained.
by City of Santa Cruz
Tuesday Nov 27th, 2018 1:40 AM
Post Date:11/26/2018 2:59 PM

Contact: Jason Hajduk, Fire Division Chief/Fire Marshal, 831-420-5208


Santa Cruz (November 26, 2018) – Effective immediately, the Wildland Urban Interface (the City’s greenbelt open space) areas surrounding the City of Santa Cruz are open to allowable recreational activities. The past weekend of rain along with cooler temperatures has allowed fuel moistures to rise to an acceptable level. Also, the weather forecast has returned to a normal pattern with several more days of rain predicted this coming week.

Areas that are now open for recreation:

Arana Gulch
Moore Creek
Arroyo Seco

The City and Fire Department appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during the closure. The desired impact was significant resulting in no reported fires within the closed areas. Community members are asked to continue to be vigilant in contacting 911 if any illegal fires are observed.

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