VENTURA, Calif. - While the lightning show over the weekend amazed many up and down the coast, it also caused a blaze on Santa Cruz Island.
According to Park Officials a lightning strike started a small fire Monday morning on the East side of the Island burning nearly a tenth of an acre of brush.
“It was actually a private vessel that notified officials who then called me,” said Travis Poulson, the Chief Ranger at Channel Islands National Park.
Poulson then requested Smokejumpers based out of Porterville to put out the fire. A team of U.S. Forest Service Smokejumpers flew out to the island, then parachuted down from a plane to battle the fire. This is the first time Smokejumpers have fought a blaze in the Channel Islands National Park.
“They do an initial attack on the fire and that means they are the ones that get on the ground and size up the fire, said Poulson. "They determine if additional resources are needed and based on what they found when they got there that was enough resources to suppress this fire.”
The fire was considered contained by 8 o’clock Tuesday morning, but it won’t be considered controlled until Wednesday afternoon.
Santa Cruz island is the most visited island within the National Park getting nearly 90,000 visitors a year.
“Given all the fires that are going on all over the West, we are very thankful to the Forest Service Smokejumpers for being able to come to Channel Islands to help us put out the fire,” said Poulson.