Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

SVBTA has members and friends affected by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires. We partnered with the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County for the month of September to try and raise money to help. Our goal was to raise $1000 in funds from our members and we matched those funds for a total donation of over $2,000 for the victims.

According to Wikipedia:


The CZU Lightning Complex fires were wildfires that burned in Northern California starting in August 2020. The fire complex consisted of fires in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties,[1] including fires that had previously been separately tracked as the Warnella and Waddell fires.[2] The firefighting effort was primarily administered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).[1]

The fires started at 6:41 AM on August 16, 2020, the result of a thunderstorm that produced close to 11,000 bolts of lightning and started hundreds of fires throughout California.[1][3] These lightning strikes initially started fires separately known as the Warnella Fire, near Davenport and the Waddell Fire, near Waddell Creek, as well as three fires on what would become the northern edge of the CZU Complex fire. Two days after the fires began, a change in wind conditions caused these three northern fires to rapidly expand and merge, growing quickly to over 40,000 acres.[4]

The fires destroyed 8,988 buildings,[1] including those in the communities of Boulder Creek,[5] Bonny Doon,[6] and Swanton;[7] and along Empire Grade Road.[8] Fires burned in both Butano[9] and Big Basin Redwoods state parks, where a number of historic buildings were destroyed, including the visitor's center at Big Basin.[10]

On September 22, Cal Fire reported that the complex, which had covered 86,509 acres (35,009 ha), had been fully contained.[1]


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