Gov. Gavin Newsom got a firsthand look Tuesday at the devastation in California's oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which was largely destroyed by the CZU Lightning Complex fires.
"It is emotional and if this is not a gut punch, then you’re not fully conscious as a human being," Gov. Newsom said after standing inside the blackened interior of a 300-foot tall ancient coastal redwood tree. "(It’s) another reminder of how important it is to be stewards and how important it is to have a sustainable mindset."
It will take more than 12 months for this park to reopen to the public in some form.
To get there, public and private dollars, plus federal support, will very likely be needed.
"We don’t need to ask anymore," the governor added. "The answer seems to be ‘Yes’ before we even ask the question."
The park’s entire infrastructure, including its "historic core," campgrounds, bathrooms and other facilities, were wiped out by the intense fire. It's thought many of Big Basin's oldest trees will survive, headlined by some of its most famous redwoods.
With 900 reported fires around the state, almost 1.5 million acres is estimated to have burned over the last two weeks.