[Update: Mar. 14, 9:54 p.m.] In an evening update, two firefighters were injured or fell ill during the day’s firefight and were being evaluated, reported Captain Daniel Bertucelli of Santa Barbara County Fire. The Hollister Fire’s size increased to 120 acres, but containment also increased to 70 percent.
Crews remained on the fireline tonight amid warming winds, which were frisking up to 40 mph gusts nearby at Gaviota.
[Update: Mar. 14, 3 p.m.] Aircraft are on standby if needed, reported County Fire spokesperson Captain Daniel Bertucelli, and 175 firefighters are on the Hollister Fire, which is an unusual one given the season. The rate of fire activity is atypical for March, Bertucelli said: “We should not be seeing fires burn like this until June to July after a few months of drying.”
Videos taken at Hollister show spring-green grasses being blown hard by winds as roaring flames consume hillsides in the background. Hollister Ranch and much of Santa Barbara County had good vegetation growth after the plentiful December rains, but in some areas, the grasses are already being bleached by the sun and lack of rain since the first of the year.
Air quality continues to be good throughout the county, despite the fire at Hollister Ranch, according to the county’s air quality district.
A trespasser reported by residents was detained but on charges unrelated to the fire, reported Raquel Zick of the Sheriff’s Office.
[Original Story] As of Sunday evening, the Hollister Fire was at 50 percent containment, and the acreage held overnight at 100 acres. The mandatory evacuation order for Hollister Ranch was lifted on Monday morning.
The fire was first reported at around 11:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, propelled downslope by winds gusting up to 30 mph. The canyons between Alegria and Agua Caliente canyons were in the greatest danger, and at least 30 homes were placed under the initial evacuation order. The cause of the fire is unknown.
High winds continue to keep aircraft grounded. This story will be updated as information becomes available.
Keep up with Hollister Fire updates here.