Wildfire burns on a small island off the coast of Southern California

VENTURA, California. – Firefighters have a wildfire Wednesday in chaparral and grasslands on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Southern California, the officials said.

The fire grew to about 250 acres (101 ha) after the escape Tuesday from a prescribed burn that was earlier in the week, Channel Islands National Park spokeswoman Yvonne Menard said of the park’s mainland headquarters in Ventura.

The fire began on the island, the central valley in the vicinity of a historic large ranch owned by The Nature Conservancy, which owns most of the island and manages together with the national park.

The 96 square miles (248-square-kilometer) island is the largest in the chain of eight Channel Islands, five of which are in the national park.

The island’s central valley is the hub of the past ranching activities dating to the mid-1800s. In the vicinity of the main ranch are other buildings, including a historic chapel and facilities of the University of California, Santa Barbara field station.

Fire protection measures were and no buildings were damaged, Menard said.

Menard said there are only four previous fires in the central valley in the past 25 years. Rainfall this season is less than half of the normal amount, such as much of Southern California.

The island has an extensive range of natural and cultural resources: Santa Cruz was once the home of a large population of indigenous people first met European explorers in the 16th century. It is passed through the Spanish and Mexican hands for the AMERICAN control.

It also has important fossils and unique plants and animals.

The flames were fought by air tankers from a mainland base and firefighters from the National Park Service, Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County.

More firefighters were called up to Sequoia and Sierra national forests, along with the Mesa and Carson hotshot crews from the Southwest, Menard said.

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