An Overviw of the CZU Fires That Struck the Valley and Changed our Lives

Written by Tasia Lundberg (News Editor)

Merely days before the start of school tragedy struck San Lorenzo Valley. Due to lighting, fires had been started, causing the valley to evacuate. The air was tainted with ash, as many were forced to choose items they wanted to save from the fire in a short period of time some being what they considered the most valuable, while others had to leave behind pets as they fled the valley, not whether they will come back to a home or not.

Unfortunately, some students lost their homes, Cadie Peters, a junior at SLVHS was one of them. When interviewed she described how she felt, and how the fires affected her she said, “ So I lived in Boulder Creek, and I had lived in that house for my entire life. On the day of the evacuation, we heard a CHP helicopter fly over and yell ‘Evacuate!’ We were pretty terrified because, how do you choose what stuff you want to take with you? We evacuated to a friend’s house in Scotts Valley for 2 days, but then they were evacuated so we had to move again to a motel in Watsonville. When we learned about our house being gone, we were devastated. Only 3 houses in our neighborhood survived, and the fire department didn’t have enough resources so they had to stand there and watch it burn. My parents, me, and our two dogs were living in one motel room for a week and a half which wasn’t very great…” Fortunately she and her family were able to find a home to rent in Santa Cruz and mentioned how she was glad to be able to find a place to stay.

When asked, students had described the whole evacuation as a stressful nightmare, some students were unable to go to hotels and had to take sanctuary in the evacuation centers that were set up. Although grateful for them, it was hard to follow COVID restrictions while evacuated. There was an underlying fear of catching the disease and losing a home. A lot of students too did not have a hotel they could simply stay in for the whole evacuation. They had to move around and go as far as San Jose just to feel safe and even further.

Through 2020, we have been pushed and pulled, through COVID, and the fires are just one of the many struggles that this year has brought us. However, SLV as a community we can rebuild what was lost from the fires, and stay strong.

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