(CNN)A series of lightning-sparked wildfires has devastated California’s oldest state park.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park endured extensive damage from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, according to a press release from the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Several historic structures including the headquarters building, main lodge, ranger station and nature museum were damaged or destroyed. A store maintenance shop, park residences and campground bathrooms were also damaged or destroyed, officials said. The CZU Lightning Complex Fire damaged or destroyed several structures.The CZU Lightning Complex Fire damaged or destroyed several structures.The CZU Lightning Complex Fire damaged or destroyed several structures.The CZU Lightning Complex is an active fire ignited by lightning on Monday, wreaking havoc on various locations across San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties, according to Cal Fire. All campers, visitors and staff had to be evacuated Tuesday as the CZU Lightning Complex Fire swept through the park, known for its groves of redwoods.Read MoreStaff members are working to verify if additional structures have been damaged. Since fire conditions are extreme and rapidly changing, it has been difficult to assess the full damage.”California State Parks is saddened by the devastation the wildfire has caused, not only to California’s oldest state park but the surrounding community in the Santa Cruz area,” a park official said.The Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit focused on preserving redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains, called the wildfire “catastrophic.” The fund worked with the state to acquire the land and establish the state park in 1902, leading to the creation of the California park system, which became a model for other states. Redwood trees were also devastated by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.Redwood trees were also devastated by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.Redwood trees were also devastated by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.”It’s really sad,” said Matt Shaffer, communications director for the Sempervirens Fund. “We really feel like we’ve lost an old friend.”With thousands of people visiting the park each year to observe the redwoods, the organization has received an outpouring of messages from people around the country saddened by the devastation to the beloved park, according to Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Sara Barth. “For millions of people from around the world this is the place where they first experienced redwoods,” Barth said. “There are many stories of people who have brought their families to this park over multiple generations.””They’re really special groves in this park. They inspire people. They humble people. They put things in perspective,” she said.In photos: Wildfires burning in the WestIn photos: Wildfires burning in the West Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA firefighter battles flames in Santa Cruz County, California, on Thursday, August 20.A firefighter battles flames in Santa Cruz County, California, on Thursday, August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA firefighter battles flames in Santa Cruz County, California, on Thursday, August 20.Hide Caption 1 of 31Scorched homes and vehicles are seen in the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa in Napa County, California, on August 20.Scorched homes and vehicles are seen in the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa in Napa County, California, on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestScorched homes and vehicles are seen in the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa in Napa County, California, on August 20.Hide Caption 2 of 31Peter Koleckar reacts after seeing multiple homes burned in his neighborhood in Bonny Doon, California, on August 20.Peter Koleckar reacts after seeing multiple homes burned in his neighborhood in Bonny Doon, California, on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestPeter Koleckar reacts after seeing multiple homes burned in his neighborhood in Bonny Doon, California, on August 20.Hide Caption 3 of 31A forest burns in Bonny Doon on August 20.A forest burns in Bonny Doon on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA forest burns in Bonny Doon on August 20.Hide Caption 4 of 31A man looks at a tree blocking his way while attempting to go home after a fire ravaged Vacaville, California, on August 20.A man looks at a tree blocking his way while attempting to go home after a fire ravaged Vacaville, California, on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA man looks at a tree blocking his way while attempting to go home after a fire ravaged Vacaville, California, on August 20.Hide Caption 5 of 31A melted, plastic fence lies on the charred ground after fire swept through Vacaville on August 20.A melted, plastic fence lies on the charred ground after fire swept through Vacaville on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA melted, plastic fence lies on the charred ground after fire swept through Vacaville on August 20.Hide Caption 6 of 31Sarah Hawkins searches through rubble after her Vacaville home was destroyed on August 20.Sarah Hawkins searches through rubble after her Vacaville home was destroyed on August 20. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestSarah Hawkins searches through rubble after her Vacaville home was destroyed on August 20.Hide Caption 7 of 31Fire crews maintain a backburn to control the River Fire near the Las Palmas neighborhood in Salinas, California, on Wednesday, August 19.Fire crews maintain a backburn to control the River Fire near the Las Palmas neighborhood in Salinas, California, on Wednesday, August 19. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFire crews maintain a backburn to control the River Fire near the Las Palmas neighborhood in Salinas, California, on Wednesday, August 19.Hide Caption 8 of 31Gina Santos cries in her car after evacuating Vacaville on August 19.Gina Santos cries in her car after evacuating Vacaville on August 19. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestGina Santos cries in her car after evacuating Vacaville on August 19.Hide Caption 9 of 31People herd cows down Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville on August 19.People herd cows down Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville on August 19. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestPeople herd cows down Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville on August 19.Hide Caption 10 of 31Flames from the Lightning Complex fires consume a home in Napa County, California, on August 19.Flames from the Lightning Complex fires consume a home in Napa County, California, on August 19. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFlames from the Lightning Complex fires consume a home in Napa County, California, on August 19.Hide Caption 11 of 31Embers burn along a hillside above Lake Berryessa as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through Napa County, California, on Tuesday, August 18. This image was taken with a long exposure.Embers burn along a hillside above Lake Berryessa as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through Napa County, California, on Tuesday, August 18. This image was taken with a long exposure. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestEmbers burn along a hillside above Lake Berryessa as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through Napa County, California, on Tuesday, August 18. This image was taken with a long exposure.Hide Caption 12 of 31A resident runs into a home to save a dog while flames from the Hennessy Fire close in near Lake Berryessa on August 18.A resident runs into a home to save a dog while flames from the Hennessy Fire close in near Lake Berryessa on August 18. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA resident runs into a home to save a dog while flames from the Hennessy Fire close in near Lake Berryessa on August 18.Hide Caption 13 of 31A home burns as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through the Spanish Flat community in Napa County on August 18.A home burns as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through the Spanish Flat community in Napa County on August 18. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA home burns as the LNU Lightning Complex fires tear through the Spanish Flat community in Napa County on August 18.Hide Caption 14 of 31An air tanker drops retardant on fires in the Spanish Flat community of Napa County on August 18.An air tanker drops retardant on fires in the Spanish Flat community of Napa County on August 18. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestAn air tanker drops retardant on fires in the Spanish Flat community of Napa County on August 18.Hide Caption 15 of 31Flames from the Hennessy Fire consume a cabin at the Nichelini Family Winery in Napa County.Flames from the Hennessy Fire consume a cabin at the Nichelini Family Winery in Napa County. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFlames from the Hennessy Fire consume a cabin at the Nichelini Family Winery in Napa County.Hide Caption 16 of 31Tony Leonardini works on a spot fire as thunderstorm winds fan the Hennessy Fire in Napa County on Monday, August 17.Tony Leonardini works on a spot fire as thunderstorm winds fan the Hennessy Fire in Napa County on Monday, August 17. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestTony Leonardini works on a spot fire as thunderstorm winds fan the Hennessy Fire in Napa County on Monday, August 17.Hide Caption 17 of 31Smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire is thick in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, August 16.Smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire is thick in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, August 16. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestSmoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire is thick in Glenwood Canyon, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, August 16.Hide Caption 18 of 31Kathy Mathison looks at the still-smoldering wildfire that, just a day before, came within several feet of her home in Bend, Oregon.Kathy Mathison looks at the still-smoldering wildfire that, just a day before, came within several feet of her home in Bend, Oregon. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestKathy Mathison looks at the still-smoldering wildfire that, just a day before, came within several feet of her home in Bend, Oregon.Hide Caption 19 of 31Firefighters look at smoke and flames rising from the Ranch2 Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, east of Los Angeles, on Friday, August 14.Firefighters look at smoke and flames rising from the Ranch2 Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, east of Los Angeles, on Friday, August 14. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFirefighters look at smoke and flames rising from the Ranch2 Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains, east of Los Angeles, on Friday, August 14.Hide Caption 20 of 31A helicopter makes a water drop over the Ranch2 Fire in Azusa, California, on Thursday, August 13.A helicopter makes a water drop over the Ranch2 Fire in Azusa, California, on Thursday, August 13. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA helicopter makes a water drop over the Ranch2 Fire in Azusa, California, on Thursday, August 13.Hide Caption 21 of 31A car is charred by the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, on August 13.A car is charred by the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, on August 13. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA car is charred by the Lake Fire near Lake Hughes, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, on August 13.Hide Caption 22 of 31A couple watches the Ranch2 Fire from a distance on August 13.A couple watches the Ranch2 Fire from a distance on August 13. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA couple watches the Ranch2 Fire from a distance on August 13.Hide Caption 23 of 31A firefighter crew works in Lake Hughes on August 13.A firefighter crew works in Lake Hughes on August 13. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA firefighter crew works in Lake Hughes on August 13.Hide Caption 24 of 31The Lake Fire burns a home in Angeles National Forest on August 13.The Lake Fire burns a home in Angeles National Forest on August 13. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestThe Lake Fire burns a home in Angeles National Forest on August 13.Hide Caption 25 of 31Flames and smoke from the Lake Fire rise on Wednesday, August 12.Flames and smoke from the Lake Fire rise on Wednesday, August 12. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFlames and smoke from the Lake Fire rise on Wednesday, August 12.Hide Caption 26 of 31A firefighter works against the Lake Fire on August 12.A firefighter works against the Lake Fire on August 12. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA firefighter works against the Lake Fire on August 12.Hide Caption 27 of 31Firefighters make an escape plan as the Lake Fire burns a hillside on August 12.Firefighters make an escape plan as the Lake Fire burns a hillside on August 12. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFirefighters make an escape plan as the Lake Fire burns a hillside on August 12.Hide Caption 28 of 31A tanker makes a drop on the Lake Fire on August 12.A tanker makes a drop on the Lake Fire on August 12. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA tanker makes a drop on the Lake Fire on August 12.Hide Caption 29 of 31A plume of smoke rises from the Lake Fire on August 12.A plume of smoke rises from the Lake Fire on August 12. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestA plume of smoke rises from the Lake Fire on August 12.Hide Caption 30 of 31Fire crews work to battle the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Tuesday, August 11.Fire crews work to battle the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Tuesday, August 11. Photos: Wildfires burning in the WestFire crews work to battle the Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Tuesday, August 11.Hide Caption 31 of 3101B wildfires 082102 wildfires 082103 wildfires 082104 wildfires 082105 wildfires 082106 wildfires 082107 wildfires 082108 wildfires 082109 wildfires 082110 wildfires 082111 wildfires 082104B west wildfires 081803 west wildfires 081808 west wildfires 081802 west wildfires 081809 west wildfires 081806 west wildfires 081805 west wildfires 081807 west wildfires 081801 western fires unfurl 0814 california 03 western fires unfurl 0813 california 02 western fires unfurl 0813 california 04 western fires unfurl 0813 california 05 western fires unfurl 0813 california RESTRICTED08 western fires unfurl 0813 california 06 western fires unfurl 07 western fires unfurl 0812 california 09 western fires unfurl 0812 california RESTRICTED10 western fires unfurl 0812 california 11 western fires unfurl 0812 california 02 wildfires california oregon coloradoDespite the extensive damage, there is hope that the park will be reborn due to the resiliency of the redwoods. Redwood trees are extremely fire resistant and many can survive or sprout new growth following a wildfire. Coastal redwoods can live for up to 2,200 years, Sempervirens Conservation Director Laura McClendon told CNN. As a species, they have been around since the dinosaurs. They used to cover the Western United States as far east as Denver, but have shrunk back as a result of climate change, according to McClendon.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/21/us/ca-oldest-state-park-damaged-wildfires-trnd/index.html

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