Crest Ranch CZU Complex Fire Devastation

On August 19, 2020, regionally devastating wildfires ravaged the field of trees of the historic, family-owned-and-operated Crest Ranch. Not only was their business upended due to uninsured tree devastation, but multiple structures of theirs were threatened as well. Thankfully, we have been updated with new information that the structures on the farm are believed to have sustained little damage and are still standing (08/21).  Louise’s father's house on the adjacent property however was lost. The fires are still not yet contained but it is hoped that Crest Ranch is now in the clear.


Crest Ranch is the oldest choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm in California. ( Crest Ranch has been a place of annual tradition and memory-making for countless families over the decades. Current owner Louise Moran and family — husband, son, 2 daughters, son-in-law, and grandson — live year-round on the ranch that was set ablaze by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires in the central coast of California. The farm also employs a handful of part and full-time staff members. The Moran family has taken a hit to their business and homes' property.

A family member worked alongside firefighters to the last minute in an effort to save their homes and land. No one was harmed or injured; however, the entire property has been touched in varying degrees by the fires that continue to rage in the greater Santa Cruz area (as of 08.23). 

One of the homes had been completed less than a month ago, meticulously built by hand with patient love, for Louise's daughter's family to live in. A week already complicated by virtually homeschooling a 6-year-old, the family has now lost at least one of their homes and their sense of stability and structure.

The fundraisers — Kristine Ostrander and Lo Harris — have known the family for more than 20 years. We are raising money to support the uninsured needs of our friends whose lives have been violently upturned by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires, to provide them a sense of stability and community in the face of this horrific event. Louise Moran is the beneficiary of the funds and will be putting them entirely toward reviving their business:  safe waste removal, structure repair, tree replanting, and other necessary and/or unforeseen expenses to do directly with recovering the property and business for reopening. We will provide updates as we receive them from the family and any information on the depth of the loss as it pertains to this fundraiser! 

*A NOTE FROM THE FAMILY: "Thank you so much for your support. We were originally informed that we had incurred massive losses on the ranch; while the extent of damage is still not fully known, we do have more up-to-date, firsthand knowledge of the property’s condition and know that structures ARE still standing. We've lost about 80% of our trees. If for any reason you felt misled by the original post based on the original information we were given (that all of our structures were lost), please reach out to the fundraisers and voice your concern. Our Crest Ranch family is safe, and our goal is to raise funds to clean up and remove waste and debris, replant and replace the uninsured trees on the farm, and repair any damage done to uninsured buildings. We don't know when we'll be able to reopen. We love this property and we are planning to work hard to bring it back to life so that special family holiday traditions can continue. We will provide updates as we can!" - Ed & Louise

Donations (392)

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  • Krista Cook
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Joy Smith
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 2 yrs
  • Vincent Smithers
    • $7 
    • 2 yrs
  • William Cross
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
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Fundraising team (3)

Lorelei Harris
Santa Cruz, CA
Louise Moran
Kristine Ostrander
Team member

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