Community Advisory – Fires at Pogonip

May 6, 2015

To: UC Santa Cruz Community
From: Nader Oweis, UC Santa Cruz Chief of Police
Re: Community Advisory – Fires at Pogonip

In the past year, the university has been notified about numerous illegal fires on Upper Campus and city/state park lands adjacent to campus. Members of the community, UC Santa Cruz Police Department, Santa Cruz Police Department, and Park Rangers have reported significant amounts of trash, property damage and abandoned campfires throughout these protected areas on and near our campus.

Trash and abandoned campfire spots

The danger is real. The threat of fire on or adjacent to our campus is serious and potentially devastating; current dry conditions have created an explosive environment.

In addition to being counter to our environmentally friendly and sustainable campus practices, these fires are very concerning because of the potential hazards they create. An illegal fire creates serious risk for loss of life or property.

So, how can you help?

Do you know people who create fire-pits, start illegal campfires or leave trash behind? Help educate them about the impact and risks by referring them to:

Aside from being dangerous and putting our campus and surrounding community at risk, we also want students to know illegal fires or illegal parties can carry fines, criminal consequences and conduct action through the university.

Section 4421 of the Public Resources Code states that no person shall set fire or cause fire to be set to any forest, brush, or other flammable material which is on any land that is not his/her own, or under his/her legal control, without the permission of the owner, lessee, or agent of the owner or lessee of the land.

For more information on the various laws, policies and codes please visit:

It is important that we all do our part to maintain a safe campus. If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about these matters please contact please contact the UC Santa Cruz Student Conduct Office (conduct@ucsc.edu, 831–459–4446), UC Santa Cruz Police Department (non-emergency: 831–459–2231 x 1) or the Santa Cruz Police Department (non-emergency: 831–420–5800).

Nader Oweis
Chief of Police
UC Santa Cruz Police Department