When 10 members of the Sierra Hotshots travelled to the fire on Santa Cruz Island 20 miles off the Southern California coast March 28, the last leg of their journey was on a boat.
The fire started March 27 most likely from an escaped burn pile and at last report on April 2 it had burned 250 acres. On March 29 there were 95 firefighters assigned from California and Arizona but that number has been reduced significantly.
The first large fire I was on was the Safety Harbor Fire in Washington with the El Cariso Hotshots. Our last travel leg was on a boat that took us across Lake Chelan.
On Thursday 95 firefighters from California and Arizona were assigned to the fire.
Above: Santa Cruz Fire, March 27, 2018. NPS photo.
A wildfire that started Tuesday burned about 250 acres on Santa Cruz Island 20 miles off the coast southwest of Oxnard. The preliminary cause is a burn pile on Nature Conservancy land that escaped.
By Thursday firefighters slowed the spread assisted by lighter winds and a marine layer that brought higher humidities. Personnel, totaling 95, arrived from Santa Barbara County and the Los Padres, Sequoia, Sierra, and Tonto National Forests.
One small non-historic building burned in the fire.
National Park Service spokesperson, Yvonne Menard, said air tankers, a mix of U.S. Forest Service contract aircraft and CAL FIRE S-2T’s, worked the fire — four on Tuesday and three on Wednesday along with at least one helicopter . The S-2T’s were dispatched from Paso Robles and the Forest Service aircraft came from Southern Arizona. They reloaded at Hemet Ryan, which is 155 miles southwest of the fire.
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 the island as one ecological unit.