Calfire air attack dropping retardant on the Panoche Fire. Photo courtesy of Nick Peters.

Last updated Monday, July 16 at 8:40 a.m. Both fires have been contained.

It’s heating up to be a busy fire season for San Benito County with two separate fires, one nearly contained and the other still burning, southeast of Hollister in the Panoche area. Smoke continues to linger from the blazes. 

The two fires, known as Panoche Fire and Idria Fire, are in various stages of containment. 

A public information officer for Calfire San Benito-Monterey Unit told BenitoLink on Thursday that Calfire is responding to the two fires with fire engines, bulldozers, air attack, and hand crews.

“We’ve made really good progress on the Panoche Fire with the available recourses,” a Calfire spokesperson said Thursday afternoon.

The Panoche Fire started at approximately at 4:39 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11. The fire burned 278 acres. Firefighter crews are finishing cleanup efforts to contain the blaze. The fire is burning off Panoche Road, two miles north of the Calfire Antelope Station. 

A grass fire at Panoche Road and New Idria Road was reported Thursday, July 12. Known as the Idria Fire, the blaze burned 116 acres. Resources from the Panoche Fire were dispatched to assist with the incident.

The cause of the fires is still under investigation