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Fire burning on Santa Cruz Island scorches 700 acres

Island Packers/National Parks Service

CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - A vegetation fire that was sparked on Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands National Park is now 80 percent contained after having burned more than 700 acres.

The "Scorpion Fire" broke out around 10:40 a.m. Sunday morning. Fire and smoke could be seen from the mainland.

Since then, the fire has burned more than 700 acres. 49 wildland firefighters are on the island and have been able to contain the blaze to the northeast of the road that leads from Scorpion Valley to Smugglers Cove.

A 20-person wildland fire crew is on standby in Ventura if additional hand crews are needed, the National Parks Service said. Air units are also on standby but are not expected to be deployed.

No structures are threatened and none have been damaged as of this time. There have also been no reported injuries.

A construction crew that was on the island for the ongoing replacement project of the Scorpion Anchorage pier may have sparked accidentally sparked the fire.

The island was closed to visitors due to the pier closure and restrictions in place due to COVID-19. On Monday, Island Packers - which has exclusive service to the islands - began offering trips again to Santa Cruz Island with a dropoff and pickup site at Prisoners Harbor. Channel Islands National Park is still restricting the island to a maximum 40 percent capacity.

Article Topic Follows: Fire

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Travis Schlepp

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