eric hammer boulder creek fire recovery Fire Recovery Local News Valley People 

Proving Ground: Eric Hammer Navigates the Rebuild Process

By Julie Horner “From a percentage basis it’s terrible, it’s ungodly expensive,” Eric Hammer said. A longtime green builder and contractor, the Brookdale resident lost the 100-year old family home in the 2020 CZU fire. The homestead dates to 1904. “This was a historic house, one of the oldest standing structures in the valley. Judge Logan and my grandfather put… Read More
King Tides by Shanna Kuempel Art Fire Recovery Local News 

Light on Water: Veteran Firefighter Shanna Kuempel Celebrates Fine Art Exhibit

By Julie Horner Artist Shanna Kuempel loves to play with color and luminescence in her landscapes. “My career as a firefighter, I’m drawn to light on water,” she said. The flush of a Santa Cruz sunrise; the fiery sky, pure oranges and blues….color and smoke. Opalescent, unobstructed views of the ocean at Pleasure Point. The way the kelp wraps around… Read More
county invoice Fire Recovery Local News 

Fire Victims Receive Debris Removal Invoices from the County

By Mary Andersen This month marks the 3rd anniversary of the fire that burned 86,500 acres and destroyed 911 homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. To date, only 36 homes have been rebuilt, the majority in Bonny Doon, along with 230 permits “in process.”  While the fire victims’ struggles with insurance, permitting, geology, water, septic, construction costs, and property damage… Read More
fire recovery czu boulder creek Fire Recovery Local News 

Fire Families Respond to McPherson Comments

Agenda item 38 of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) January 31, 2023 meeting, addressed an amendment of the County’s contract with 4Leaf, the Pleasanton, CA construction management firm which had been hired after the CZU fire to streamline and manage the permitting process for fire victims hoping to rebuild. The program for fire victims was called the Legacy Older Structures… Read More
czu fire rebuild Column: Antonia Bradford Fire Recovery Letters Local News 

Open Letters to Bruce McPherson and County Leadership

“It’s not the fire that breaks you, it’s the County” By Antonia Bradford On February 1, 2023 Supervisor Bruce McPherson was quoted in a Sentinel article titled “Supervisors Bruce McPherson, Justin Cummings Seek CZU Rebuild Details” saying, “roughly one-third of impacted residents have not sought a rebuild permit after the CZU fires.” He goes on to say, “The county isn’t… Read More
Amah Mutsun San Vicente Redwoods Fire Recovery Photography 

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the San Vicente Redwoods Preserve

A portion of the public trail system at the San Vicente Redwoods Preserve opened on December 3. The Preserve is a collaborative effort between a dedicated network of land preservation groups and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band — also called “Ohlone” — whose ancestors were the original inhabitants. According to the Amah Mutsun Land Trust, “All lineages comprising the ‘Amah… Read More
Fire Recovery Local News 

Remembering the CZU Fire Two Years Later

By Julie Horner It has been two years since the CZU Lightning Complex Fire unleashed its fury in the Santa Cruz Mountains, destroying 1,490 buildings including a number of historic structures and 911 residential homes. The fire wiped out entire communities, displaced hundreds of families, and blackened devastating swaths of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, parts of the Fall Creek… Read More
CZU fire burn zone Column: MC Dwyer Fire Recovery Local News 

CZU Fire Rebuilding by the Numbers

By M.C. Dwyer As we approach the two year anniversary of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, I submitted questions to Santa Cruz County’s Recovery Permit Center at the Planning Department regarding the pace of rebuilding in the CZU zone. The following responses were provided via email from Carolyn Burke, Assistant Director at the Permit Center.  Is it true that out… Read More
Fire Recovery Infrastructure Local News 

PG&E Helicopter Activity in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has responded to multiple queries regarding the low-flying helicopter activity that began on Monday in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The utility is surveying power lines using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The activity will continue through August 22 according to a spokesperson.   In a press statement, PG&E’s Communications Representative Mayra Tostado said,… Read More