Out of Area | #SantaCruzFire | California

VENTURA, CALIFORNIA | A wildfire that was ignited on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 around 1430 hours PDT is located on Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park in Ventura, California.

A view of the Santa Cruz Fire on 3-27-18

Resources | 70 personnel recently reduced down to from the initial fire response.

A fire helicopter at the air base for the Santa Cruz Fire.

Fire Timeline |  Learn how fire operations evolved on this wildfire.

March 27:  Fire escaped RX small burn pile fire set earlier in the week. Fire broke out at 1430 hours on near the main rain on the Nature Conservancy property on Santa Cruz Island. Listed as a wind-driven fire by moderate strong winds, grew from 20 acres to 100 acres in three (3) hours.  The USFS was requested by the The Nature Conservancy to help with fire suppression efforts. Four (4) Los Padres NF dispatched four (4) airtankers that arrived on the island a little after 1630 hours.  They were aided by 11 NPS firefighters.  30 people included eight (8) campers were evacuated as a precaution from the main ranch, Santa Cruze Island Reserve, Navy site, Del Norte campground via the park concessioner, Island Packers.  The Island Packers cancelled all public trips to the Island on March 28.  USFS had three (3) crews with a total of 60 firefighters that arrived in Ventura to be transported to the island.

March 28:  Forward progression has been stopped. Holding at 250 acres.  No estimated date as to when to be fully contained. SBCFD and LPNF sent out two (2) crews of 10 firefighters arriving from Sequoia and Sierra National Forest with a total of close to 50. Hotshot crews were also dispatched from the SW area.  No structures damaged/destroyed or injuries reported.

March 29:  Due to intensive firefighting suppression efforts and a bombardment of an air attack, containment has been increased to 60%.  Air fire suppression efforts consisted of air tankers dropping retardant to helicopters to doing the same but as water drops. Ground crews swelled up to 95 including an additional 45 firefighters with one of them being a hotshot crew from Tonto NF in Arizona as well from units from Sequoia and Sierra National Forest in California. Crews established a hand line fire perimeter and putting out hot spots.  One (1) non-historical outbuilding was lost. No injuries reported.  Incident Cooperators include:  USFS, NPS, Vandenberg Air Force Station, Santa Barbara Co FD, Santa Barbara City FD, Montecito FD.  Closures in effect.

March 30: Fire holding, hasn’t grown in two days. Still at 60% containment status. Weather conditions have improved.

March 31:  250 acres. 70% contained.

A wildfire burns in the central valley on Santa Cruz Island

Current Incident Cooperators | National Park Service (NPS), USDA Forest Service (USFS), National Weather Service (NWS), Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCoFD), the Nature Conservancy, Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD).

An aerial view of the Santa Cruz Fire on 3-28-18

Damage Assessments | Fire burned about 71% non-native species of fennel, grasses and eucalyptus logs and 26% native species within fire perimeter.  Fire laid down when it burned into native chaparral and oak woodland areas.

Fire Photography | Courtesy of Channel Islands National Park

Social Media | #SantaCruzFire #SantaCruzIsland #CAwildfire


Santa Cruz Island is a 96-square mile island that is the largest in the chain of eight (8) California Channel Islands.  The Nature Conservancy owns 76% of the Island and the NPS owns the other 24%.  They both together work together to manage the island as one ecological unit.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog