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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
Ventura, CA —Four tankers are battling a fire that broke this afternoon at about 2:30 pm on Santa Cruz Island. The fire, driven by moderately strong winds, has grown from 20 to 100 acres in just three hours.
The fire escaped from a prescribed small burn pile fire that had been set earlier this week. It started near the main ranch on The Nature Conservancy property.
The National Park Service requested assistance to suppress the fire from the US Forest Service.
The Los Padres National Forest dispatched four air tankers that arrived at the island shortly after 4:30 pm. They are aided on the ground by 11 National Park Service fire fighters.
There are no reported structures at risk at this time and no injuries.
As a precaution, 30 people, including eight campers, are being evacuated from the main ranch, Santa Cruz Island Reserve, Navy Site, and Del Norte campground via the park concessioner, Island Packers.
Island Packers has cancelled all public trips to Santa Cruz Island for tomorrow, including Prisoners Harbor and Scorpion Valley destinations.
The U.S. Forest Service has requested three crews, a total of 60 firefighters, to help contain and mop up the blaze. They arrive in Ventura at 10:00 am Wednesday for transit to the island.
“We are grateful to the U.S. Forest Service for their quick response to suppress this rapidly expanding fire as part of a coordinated federal response,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau.
Santa Cruz Island, at 96 square miles island, is the largest in the chain of eight California Channel Islands. The Nature Conservancy owns 76 percent of Santa Cruz Island and the National Park Service owns 24 percent. Together they cooperatively manage this island as one ecological unit.