Photo by The C.R.E.W. - Concerned Resource & Environmental Workers

Even as the coronavirus crisis ravages the economy, wildfire season is arriving again.

For Central Coast nonprofit The CREW, wildfire preparation is helping to keep their workers employed. 

After the recent wildfires on the South Coast, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is trying to monitor the new plants that have started growing in the wildfire recovery area.

With so much land to cover, however, the new plan is getting citizen scientists how to identify, catalog, and protect the plants we rely on. 

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has a management plan that may help to reduce large wildland fires.

The plan was presented Tuesday to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, and calls for several approaches.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Santa Barbara County firefighters are getting close to fully containing a brush fire on the Central Coast. The 110-acre Windmill Fire near Buellton is now 80% contained.

Fire crews battled a brush fire in Ventura County this weekend.

The Canyon Fire broke out on Saturday in the Piru area of the Los Padres National Forest.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Firefighters are trying to get a handle on the Whittier Fire burning in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara County that has grown to more than 18,000 acres. It's still only 36% contained.  

California Fire officials say they expect increased fire activity Sunday due to warmer temperatures, lower humidity and winds.

However, firefighters did get a break with the weather overnight from Saturday into Sunday when potentially strong sundowner winds in the forecast didn’t materialize. 

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Two wildfires are continuing to burn on the Central Coast as hundreds of people evacuate.

The Whittier Fire, which is burning in the Santa Ynez Valley, has grown to 7,800 acres. It’s only 5% contained. Firefighters are especially concerned because it’s near hundreds of homes. Santa Barbara County Fire officials say some structures have been destroyed, but it’s not clear if any of those were homes. Mandatory evacuations were issued for homes as well as campgrounds. The brush fire broke out Saturday afternoon off of Highway 154, about 12 miles east of Solvang.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A brush fire burning in two counties on the Central Coast has nearly doubled in size overnight to 6,000 acres.

Cal Fire officials say more than 1,000 firefighters are battling the Alamo Fire, which is located around the Santa Barbara County-San Luis Obispo County line near Highway 166 and Twitchell Reservoir. Five helicopters are dropping water and four fixed-wing aircraft are dropping retardent in an effort to contain the fire.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The 1400 firefighters battling a large wildfire burning in Santa Barbara County are getting a better handle on it.

Officials say the 33,000-acre Rey Fire in the Los Padres National Forest has moved up to 54-percent containment and has not spread since Friday. Crews are concentrating on securing and mopping up the remaining uncontained fireline on the northeast corner of the fire.

(Photo by Mike Eliason-Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

Last Update: 09:00 A.M.

Santa Barbara County’s Rey Fire continued to grow over the weekend, passing the 23,000 acre mark.

The fire is burning deeper into wilderness areas northeast of the Santa Ynez Valley, moving into some areas which haven’t burned in recorded history.

It’s now 20% contained. More than 1200 firefighters are now battling the blaze, which started last Thursday.

Photo by Los Padres National Forest

The fast-moving brush fire burning in the Los Padres National Forest of Santa Barbara County has almost doubled in size within 24 hours. Officials say the Rey Fire has now scorched nearly 19,000 acres of land, and containment remains at just 10%.

Los Padres National Forest Photo

A wildfire burning in the Los Padres National Forest of Santa Barbara County has quickly grown to nearly 11,000 acres, and containment has dropped to just 10%.

Mike Eliason of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said 500 firefighters are working to control the Rey Fire, but it’s not easy.

Cal Fire Photo

A fast-moving wildfire in central California that started Saturday and forced evacuations of a lakeside community has now burned nearly 1,500 acres. It’s now 10-percent contained.

Los Padres National Forest

Several hundred firefighters continue to battle a brush fire burning in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, which has now grown to almost 1,600 acres. It still stands at no containment.

VCFD Air Unit

A wildfire burning in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County has scorched nearly 1,500 acres of land.

More than 300 firefighters are battling the Pine Fire located about 11 miles north of Ojai in the Sespe Wilderness. So far, there's no containment.