By Victoria Martinez


A vegetation fire now being referred to as the Cruces Fire broke out near Highway 1 approximately three miles west of the 101 at 11:56 a.m. today.

Early reports from fire personnel on scene stated heavy vegetation burning, a rapid rate of spread, and the potential for 500-1,000 acres to burn.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Captain Dave Zaniboni stated that approximately 150 acres have burned, and the fire has the potential to grow much larger.

“It’s currently estimated to be at approximately 150 acres with the potential to grow much larger,” Zamboni said.

There are 150 firefighters currently on scene, nine engines with five more en route, two helicopters, four tankers, three crews and four dozers.  Firefighters have made headway with the fire alongside highway 1 but are having difficulty with the northern edge of the fire.

The only ordered evacuations took place on ranches at the 7200 block of Highway 1. Santa Barbara County Fire also issued an evacuation warning for the Hollister Ranch, Cojo, and Gaviota State Beach areas.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

This story will be updated as the Star receives more information.