For many Americans across the United States, March is typically one of the wettest, rainiest months of the year. However, in California, where Outsiders within the state continue to endure a decades-long megadrought, wildfires continue to strike at all times of the year. That said, firefighters in Santa Barbara County are faced with a wicked blaze as the Hollister Fire, which ignited Saturday, has begun to threaten area homes.
Hollister Fire Growth Attributed to Ongoing Drought Conditions
In the 24 hours since the blaze broke out, Fox News reports the Hollister Fire has ignited more than 100 acres. Regions near the community of Gaviota have seen the worst of the fire. Authorities believe the Hollister Fire ignited this weekend due to dry vegetation along the Pacific Coast.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service predicted relatively low humidity and a lack of rain in the forecast. Both of which will surely exacerbate threats from the wildfire within the Gaviota community.
Despite rapid spreading and high winds, with gusts reaching 50 miles per hour, the outlet reports fire crews have kept the blaze about 20% contained. Sunday afternoon saw wildland firefighters and bulldozers working side by side to construct and maintain fire lines.
Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Times reports, the Hollister Fire could grow up to between 500 and 1,000 acres. Deemed “erratic,” constant winds and significant gusts have sent the blaze down mountainsides, igniting areas of heavy brush.
Authorities confirmed that while the cause of the fire remains unknown, “the wind and amount of brush…are the main things affecting it right now.”
Fire Demonstrating Atypical, Dangerous Traits
On Twitter, Public Information Officer Daniel Bertucelli shared with residents that high wind gusts had begun to pose a challenge for firefighters. Making the situation even direr, he wrote, “This behavior is not typical of a fire in March. Please be fire aware and limit opportunities for fires to start.”
His Tweet also captured the intense scene as bright orange flames lined a CA mountain peak and orangey-black smoke filled the air. Check it out.
Fire Behavior on Hollister Fire. This fire behavior is not typical of a fire in March. Please be fire aware and limit opportunities for fires to start. For more info on wildfire preparedness go to https://t.co/EhDNA9KZp7 pic.twitter.com/zf2M1o8ntE— Daniel Bertucelli (@SBCFireInfo) March 13, 2022
For Outsiders interesting in viewing the West’s most at-risk areas for wildland fires, Fox News shared a graphic. Altogether, the graphic, or, really, the map, reveals the most- and least-stricken drought areas of the West.
Ahead of the advancing flames, fire prevention authorities began evacuating residents living in the area where the fire broke out. Later on Sunday, officials shared with locals that evacuation orders would be turned to warnings by noon.