UCSC campus police responded to a call regarding a fire near College Eight on Sunday Oct. 6. The fire was called in anonymously at 3:17 a.m. and five departments including the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Santa Cruz Fire Department and the Scott’s Valley’s Fire Department responded.
“We did an investigation and [the cause] was centered around the middle of a grove of redwood trees … and it appeared to be a campfire in a hollowed out tree and we suspect it was either left or thought it was put out and basically, it wasn’t. It had been burning for a couple of hours prior to our arrival,” said Santa Cruz Fire Department battalion chief Mike Venezio.
The fire is thought to have spread after trees and surrounding grass ignited.
Despite the fire burning for hours prior to being called in, it burned less than an acre of land. “The fire was moving relatively slowly because of humidity in the air,” said UCSC police officer Jim Newkirk.
The fire departments’ quick response prevented evacuations from neighboring dorms and apartments at College Eight.
“There [were] no evacuations done, it was really no threat to the buildings,” Vencio said.