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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725The Santa Cruz Fire perimeter has not grown the past two days. Containment is still estimated at 60 percent. Intensive efforts by firefighters continue and weather conditions have been favorable.
The fire burned approximately 71% nonnative species and 26% native species within its perimeter. The nonnative species included fennel, grasses, and eucalyptus logs. Mapping shows that the fire laid down when it burned into the native chaparral and oak woodland communities.
“The fire appears to have not impacted any historic or cultural resources or native wildlife such as the island fox, bald eagle, or island scrub jay,” said Channel Islands National Park Service Superintendent Russel Galipeau. “We are thankful for the swift and impressive actions of our firefighting teams.”
Firefighting ground crews are carefully tending to potential hot spots and air attack resources have been released. Crew numbers have been reduced to 70, providing some needed relief for firefighters involved in initial attack.
The park concessioner, Island Packers, is running trips to all destinations in the national park except for Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.
A closure to public access is still in place, and expected to continue through the weekend for the entire isthmus area of Santa Cruz Island. This western edge of the closure extends from the landing pier at Prisoners Harbor 220 degrees in a southwest direction to Willows Anchorage on the south side of the island. The eastern boundary is the Montañon Ridge.
Santa Cruz Island, at 96 square miles, 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.