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UPDATE: Shell Fire reaches 95% containment

Santa Margarita fog
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jul 31, 2023

UPDATE (Aug. 2, 2023) - The Shell Fire is 95% contained as of Wednesday morning.

UPDATE (Aug. 1, 2023) - CAL FIRE reports the Shell Fire is now 90% contained. Acreage burned remains at 100.

(July 31, 2023) - A vegetation fire that started on Sunday East of Santa Margarita quickly spread and burned 100 acres.

While fire crews were able to stop the fire’s forward progress, they are still working toward containment.

“We have a control line behind me. That’s made by a dozer, so there’s no fire on that Control line. Put that out so that’s considered a portion of the fire that’s contained,” Eric Shalhoob, Cal Fire Division Chief, said.

There are some concerns about the fire’s location.

“Because of its proximity to the Las Padres Forest and to Black Mountain repeater site, we really wanted to make sure that we kept it small,” Louis Ermigarat, Nacimiento Fire Battalion Chief, said.

Ermigrart says the largest fire in this area was in 2003.

“It was the biggest in history for a while, the Highway 58 fire. It was the biggest until 2003 until the Sédar fire and other fires in California kicked off,” Ermigarat said.

This year's fire season has been different than in years past.

“We’ve had fewer fires than we’ve had in most recent fire seasons, but we still have quite a bit of fire season to go,” Shalhoob said.

Fire officials say that August through September is when we will see the most active time for fires on the Central Coast.

There were initially two homes in the area that were threatened but fire crews were able to keep the flames from spreading to those structures.

Monday night, CAL FIRE reported the fire remains at 100 acres and is 85% contained.