Fire officials declared the Alisal Fire out Friday after monitoring the Gaviota-area land for hot spots or flames for more than 30 days.
“Out of an abundance of caution, they waited to call the fire out. The little bit of rain we got a couple of months ago wasn’t enough to fully extinguish the fire,” Los Padres National Forest spokesperson Andrew Madsen told the News-Press.
Fire investigators are continuing to work to determine the cause of the wildfire, and repair work will be ongoing for a few months.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that a lightning strike from a week prior to the fire smoldered and was stirred up by the high wind, but they haven’t ruled out other possibilities.
“It’s been a long, grueling year,” Mr. Madsen said, commenting on the Los Padres National Forest’s firefighters’ assignments at wildfires in other jurisdictions as well.
“I saw the looks on the faces of the fire crews back in June, and they already looked like they were already tired,” he said.
Many crew members are enjoying time with family during the holidays and the wet season when the threat of wildfire is less imminent.
Los Padres National Forest is under extreme fire restrictions, so campfires are banned outside of developed campgrounds.
The Alisal Fire began spreading Oct. 11 above Alisal Lake. It burned more than 17,000 acres, destroying 12 residences and damaging one outbuilding.