September 2020

Wildfire Resources

BY Christy Shults

View of the fire from Graham Hill Road in Felton Photo by Kara Capaldo

The old-timers and local firefighters always said the San Lorenzo Valley was a tinder box, a fire here would be catastrophic. It has been long since a fire has run through our Valley, but fateful events mark 2020. Our newsfeeds were filled with spectacular imagery of the lightning storm, bolts touching the earth. While we were all in awe, our mountains began to burn, the skies filled with ominous smoke and flickering flames. Our hearts dropped as the evacuations came in. Some families were getting knocks on their doors in the middle of the night as Bonny Doon burned.  We have brave men and women serving our mountains, but they weren’t enough. Resources were thin as the whole state lit like a match. Brave civilians stayed behind to protect their communities. The fire quickly made its way close to the San Lorenzo Valley’s Northern entrance and exit, Boulder Creek. The siren in town gave a chilling ring to notify the residents it was time to evacuate. Within 48 hours, the entire Valley, Scotts Valley and UCSC campus had been evacuated. Our lovely giant redwoods stood tall and sustained the flames as it engulfed Big Basin State Park clear to the ocean, decimating communities on its path.

We rose early for eleven days to watch the 6 am updates, days at 0% containment, waiting on help to arrive. Now twelve days in and we are above 30% containment. By the time this reaches the newsstands, those numbers will have increased, and likely most of you will have returned home. Some will heartbreakingly have to decide to rebuild or move on from the ashes. Other’s homes will still be standing, but the infrastructure damage will create a trying transition period.

We are at the beginning of the fire season, and the threat is still looming over us. We are a strong mountain community, our hearts are generous, and we will rebuild and strengthen our bonds.

Resource Websites

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

County of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Relief


Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church St SC 95060

Seventh Day Adventist-RV ONLY
1931 Soquel San Jose Rd, Soquel 95062

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
2601 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA

SCC Fairgrounds (Cots)
2601 E. Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA

Cabrillo College Shelter
6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos. Congregate shelter

Congregational Church Shelter
4951 Soquel Dr, Soquel.

Simpkins SC Shelter
979 17th Ave., Santa Cruz

Fair Grounds (TENTS)
2601 E Lake Ave 95076

Harbor High School
300 La Fonda Ave., Santa Cruz

ANIMAL Santa Cruz Animal Shelter
1001 Rodriguez Street (For Animal)

ANIMAL Watsonville Animal Shelter
580 Airport Blvd (For Animal)

For information on accommodations, please call 211 or Red Cross at (800)Redcross | (800)733-2767 or visit


Parking is available at the following lots:

Congregational Church (AUTO)
4951 Soquel Dr, Soquel.

Open for people as well as vehicles
Cabrillo College RV/AUTO
Lot K, 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos

Twin Lakes-Auto/RV
2701 Cabrillo College Dr, Aptos
Up to 50 cars and RV’s, bathrooms, water and food available


Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter
2200 7th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
If you need assistance evacuating animals, please call 831-454-7200
Pets may be brought to shelter but must be under owner’s control at all times. A carrier may be helpful


Evacuation Map

Cal fire Email Updates

Traffic Advisory and Restrictions

Air Quality

CALFire CZU San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office

Stay Safe During a Wildfire

Health & Safety

The Santa Cruz County Human Services
Benefits hotline is 1-888-421-8080 (toll free).
Residents impacted by the fire who are enrolled in benefits programs may be eligible for replacement benefits.

  • Protect yourself from poor air quality due to the California wildfires.
  • Stay indoors
  • Close windows
  • Run A/C, if possible
  • Stay up-to date on air conditions at

While sheltering with others please remember we are still in a pandemic. Whenever possible:

  • Wear your face coverings
  • Stay 6 feet apart
  • Wash your hands often
  • Sanitize frequently touched surface

recovery & rebuilding

Tips for a safe cleanup

  • Residents and visitors to the area should assume that the burn debris and ash contains hazardous materials and should take the following precautions:
  • Stay indoors, or leave the burn area on windy days
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Use rugs inside and outside entrances to catch any possible debris on shoes
  • Avoid tracking debris into the house; remove shoes
  • Use a damp mop or cloth to clean away visible dust in the house
  • Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter system
  • Anyone cleaning up debris material should:
  • Wear appropriate masks
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Wet the debris and ash while handling it
  • Those with underlying health conditions may want to take extra precautions such as wearing respiratory protection when outside, minimizing time in the burn area, and/or seeking a physician’s

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