As fires burn on, 34 California parks are now closed

Smoke hangs low in the air at Big Basin Redwoods State Park as some redwoods are still on fire on Saturday in Boulder Creek.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Some 34 state parks are now closed, as are all state campgrounds in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, as state officials struggle to cope with dozens of wildfires still burning throughout California.

This flames, which erupted last week, have blackened hundreds of thousands of acres, destroyed scores of homes and other structures, killed seven people and extensively damaged the oldest existing state park, Big Basin Redwoods north of Santa Cruz.

Local leaders have asked all Californians to postpone visits to Santa Cruz or San Mateo counties, in part because hotel rooms are needed to house thousands of evacuees.

The Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters & Visitor Center which was built in 1936 was one of the structures lost to the blaze that tore through the state park, photographed on Saturday in Boulder Creek.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

State officials say the campground closures, announced as a public safety measure, will be in effect through at least Aug. 31. Among the campgrounds closed: Manresa State Beach, New Brighton SB, Seacliff SB, Sunset SB, all in Santa Cruz County; and Half Moon Bay SB in San Mateo County.

Parks officials said those whose camping reservations are affected are being notified “and full refunds will be given.”

Meanwhile, the 34 fully closed parks are to stay closed until further notice, and several others are partially closed. Here’s a list from California State Parks:

Smoke hangs low in the air at Big Basin Redwoods State Park as some redwoods are still on fire, like this one that fell across the road on Saturd in Boulder Creek, CA.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

CZU August Lightning Complex fires: Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties

In Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties alone, the CZU August Lightning Complex fires have forced closure of 13 parks.


In San Mateo County:

•Año Nuevo State Park

•Bean Hollow State Beach

•Butano SP

•Pescadero SB

•Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

•Pomponio SB

•Portola Redwoods SP

•San Gregorio SB

In Santa Cruz County:

•Big Basin Redwoods SP (including Rancho Del Oso)

•Castle Rock SP

•Coast Dairies SP

•Henry Cowell Redwoods SP (including Fall Creek)

•Natural Bridges SB

•Wilder Ranch SP

Partially closed: The Forest of Nisene Marks SP.

Beach fire: Mono County

In Mono county, the Beach fire has partially closed Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, including South Tufa and Navy Beach.

Deer Zone fires: Contra Costa and Alameda counties

In Contra Costa County, Deer Zone fires have closed Mount Diablo State Park. (Update: Mount Diablo State Park reopened on Tuesday.)

In Alameda County, Deer Zone fires have closed Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.

Dolan fire: Monterey County

In Monterey County, which includes the Big Sur area, the Dolan fire has closed these parks:

•Andrew Molera SP

•Garrapata SP

•Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP

•John Little SNR

•Limekiln SP

•Pfeiffer Big Sur SP

•Point Lobos SNR

•Point Sur SHP

Jones fire: Nevada County

In Nevada County, the Jones fire has partially closed South Yuba River State Park.

LNU Lightning Complex fires: Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties

The LNU Lightning Complex fires have closed these state parks:

In Lake County: Anderson Marsh SHP.

In Napa County: Robert Louis Stevenson SP.

In Sonoma County:

•Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

•Austin Creek State Recreation Area

•Fort Ross SHP

SCU Lightning Complex fires: Santa Clara and Merced counties

In Santa Clara County, the SCU Lightning Complex fires have closed Henry W. Coe State Park.

In Merced County, the SCU Lightning Complex sire have closed Pacheco SP and San Luis Reservoir SRA.

Woodward fire: Marin County

In Marin County, the Woodward fire closed these state parks:

•Mount Tamalpais SP (Update: On Tuesday, state park officials reopened Mount Tamalpais “for all walk up camping and day use.” In addition, officials said, “Upper Mountain access is open for all public use.”)

•Samuel P. Taylor SP

•Tomales Bay SP

Also in Marin County at Point Reyes National Seashore, the Woodward fire has forced closure of Limantour Road, all trails west of Highway 1 and all trails south and east of Limantour Road.


Because fire conditions and road statuses are changing fast, state parks officials say, anyone traveling should take care and check ahead.