Big Basin Redwoods, California's oldest state park, devastated by CZU Lightning Complex; Fate of ancient trees unknown

Fire damaged the 118-year-old park's headquarters, historic core and campgrounds.
BOULDER CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- California's oldest state park, housing a forest of ancient redwood trees, was devastated by wildfires that ravaged the Bay Area this week.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz County "sustained extensive damage" this week from the CZU Lightning Complex fires, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation website.

Fire damaged the 118-year-old park's headquarters, historic core and campgrounds, and it will be closed until further notice. All campers, visitors and staff were evacuated.

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Established in 1902, Big Basin is one of the nation's oldest state parks. Its main attraction is its thousand-year-old redwoods, some predating the Roman Empire, according to the parks department website.

The tallest type of tree on Earth, redwoods can grow as tall as the Statue of Liberty and wider than 50 feet.

Several California coastal redwood parks are near or within the complexes, like Henry Cowell Redwoods, Butano and Castle Rock. These parks are closed until further notice.

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The Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving redwood forests, posted that the fate of the Big Basin's oldest trees is unknown.



"For millions of people, Big Basin is the place where they first experienced the majesty of the redwoods -- where they were humbled and inspired standing amidst a grove of towering trees that have stood resolute for thousands of years. Those memories will live on," the Sempervirens Fund posted to Facebook.

The organization noted that redwoods are "remarkably resilient" and adaptive to fire.

"We intend to be here for the forests we protected in the past to see that they rise to the skies once more," the post read.

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