Santa Cruz County experienced many decades of relatively small or moderate sized and infrequent wildfire incidents, until August 2020, when a dry lightning storm ignited dozens of small fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Many were extinguished but several continued to grow and came together to form the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, which burned 86,509 acres, destroyed 1490 structures, and caused one fatality.

The Wildfire Resilience Program was developed the next year and is intended to help prepare our county for wildfire events of all sizes, which will inevitably strike again. Preparedness means taking action to reduce the hazards that increase wildfire severity, and the risk of a wildfire occurring and damaging the things that are important to us: lives, property, community, and the environment.

OR3’s Wildfire Resilience Program collaborates with many partners to aid in preparedness, including other county departments such as Public Works Road Maintenance, Human Services, and the Sheriff’s office, as well as other entities such as the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, Central Fire District, and the many volunteer fire departments, CAL FIRE, and others.

Learn more about wildfire preparedness through these links below:

Alerts & Warnings – Get Notified!

Sign up for CruzAware reverse 911 calls

Pulsepoint App (download and then select CAL FIRE CZU, Central Fire, Boulder Creek Fire, Zayante Fire or other fire departments in the app’s settings. Android download Apple download

Watch Duty app for your ipad or apple phone, or android device

Zonehaven – know your zone or map viewer

Prepare Your Family and Your Property

CAL FIRE’s Ready for Wildfire WebApp

Be Prepared, not Scared,  Home Hardening and Defensible Space education from the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County.

Free chipping programs from the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council, and the South Skyline Fire Safe Council