The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced the implementation of a series of controlled burns at Wilder Ranch State Park, located two miles north of Western Drive along Highway 1.

Chris Spohrer, a research ecologist at Wilder Ranch State Park, said two separate burns totaling approximately 140 acres were conducted yesterday. The burns were implemented with the dual purposes of halting the encroachment of wooded shrubbery on native grasses and eliminating fuels that can contribute to wildfires.

The UC Santa Cruz Public Information Office released a statement on Oct. 16 warning of the potential for the smoke from the burns to reach the campus, and advising those with health issues to take appropriate precautions.