A PG&E camera picks up smoke rising from the 'Fossil Fire' in Boulder Creek on March 31, 2021.
A PG&E camera picks up smoke rising from the ‘Fossil Fire’ in Boulder Creek on March 31, 2021.
(PG&E weather camera)

Offseason Boulder Creek wildfire, dubbed ‘Fossil Fire,’ is contained after air support brought in

Cal Fire crews contained a wildfire approaching five acres in size in Boulder Creek Wednesday evening as the mercury soared above 80 degrees for the first time in months.

Cal Fire crews battled a small wildfire in Boulder Creek on Wednesday as warm, dry weather moved in to Santa Cruz County.

The agency first tweeted about the fire, which they named the “Fossil Fire,” just before 5 p.m. Wednesday and said that it was in the area of Greenvale Road and Highway 9.

The wildfire had been burning timber (not just brush), and at 5:40 p.m., Cal Fire said crews were holding the fire at the ridgetop with “air support ... making water drops,” over the flames.

The fire, located just outside the CZU Lightning Complex burn scar, had been contained as of late Wednesday, Cal Fire reported, with help from the Boulder Creek Fire Department. Its cause is under investigation.

The fire comes as the area is experiencing warming temperature patterns that saw a high of 82 degrees in Santa Cruz Wednesday — just a few degrees under the record for March 31 that was set in 1966 with a high of 88 degrees, the National Weather Service said.

The “robust warming trend” is expected to continue through Thursday, the NWS said.

Fire season normally begins in May, but Cal Fire officials have cautioned that drier weather caused by climate change in recent years has effectively created a year-round fire season in Santa Cruz County and other parts of California.