SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF/BCN) – The city of Santa Cruz this week closed off-trail open spaces that the city owns due to fire risk.

Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jason Hajduk issued the emergency order Tuesday to address the growing risk of fires.

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The areas closed indefinitely include the off-trail portions of the Pogonip, Sycamore Grove, Arana Gulch, Moore Creek, Arroyo Seco and the DeLaveaga Wilderness.

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“This year, the SCFD has already seen multiple fires associated with off-trail campsites in City-owned wildland open spaces, and we have been fortunate that the fires have not spread,” Hajduk said in a news release issued Tuesday by his office. “Going into an extremely dry summer season, the City must take further steps to protect itself from dangerous fires and the steep financial costs associated with major fire suppression efforts, which can easily run into the millions.”

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