Coronavirus Links

Here are a few reputable COVID-19 links for accurate, up-to-date information. I will leave this up at the top of the blog as a sticky note until the pandemic passes, or is under control. I may add to it if other reputable sources warrant.

Big Sur Information

Header Photo by Brendon Shave, on the Ridge Fire, 6/17/20

IMPORTANT, READ THIS POST FIRST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT VISITING BIG SUR!!

For the most thorough and complete guide to Big Sur on the internet see:

Big Sur Visitor’s Guide

PLEASE JOIN ME AND TAKE THE BIG SUR PLEDGE!

From http://Bigsurpledge.org

*********************************************************************

Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps... if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.

MY DIRECT EMAIL IS: kwnovoa@mac.com

(Size for any header photos you may wish to submit it is 760×151 pixels.)

Fort Fire

3:15 pm — FHL PIO says it looks like they have it under control, but not expected to open Jolon before 4:30

3:10 — just found out the area is the ASP Alongside of Jolon, which is where they store all the ammo for training. Great place to have a fire. No wonder they closed Jolon in both directions. However, I am also informed there is a fire break all the way around the ASP.

2:30 — There was a controlled burn on FHL today, but this one is not in the same area. There is a fire at/near Jolon and Mission, and they are halting traffic in both directions on Jolon Rd. Tankers 74 & 75 as well as A/A out of Paso Robles have been sent to it. Fires on base have been notoriously difficult to get info on, although I will call later if needed.

Incident: 00068 Type: Report of Fire Location: Crg14 / Sam Jones Rd Loc Desc: ***CONTROLLED BURN*** JOLON Lat/Lon: 35.942209 -121.131134

Detail Information
1:59 PM1[2] RP RECALLED AND THEY ARE STOPPING TRAFFIC ON JOLON IN BOTH DIRECTIONS AT MISSION

COVID closures

Monterey County has been notified by the California Department of Public Health that a health order imposing certain business sector restrictions is now in place. This order takes effect today, July 8th and will remain in effect until three weeks after the County no longer exceeds the state thresholds. For more information on how to keep yourself and your family healthy, visit http://www.mtyhd.org/covid19

Boomer Fire, E of Prunedale

VegetationFire E/O Prunedale, CA (Monterey Co) – BC4612 reports 15 acres, slope & wind driven, potential for 500 acres. AA460, T79 & T80 arriving now. 1000blk San Juan Grade Rd. This is the #BoomerFire. The fire mapping is a new link I have added to my fire links to the right.

Fire is looking much better. Aircraft is being released and diverted to other fires.

COVID Community Meeting Notes from 7/1/20

COVID-19 Community Response Group Meeting Notes

July 1, 2020

Attendees (via Zoom):

20th Congressional District, State Senate District 17, 30th Assembly District, Cal State Parks, US Forest Service, 5th District Supervisor, Parks Management Company, Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Health Center, Esalen Institute, Big Sur Fire, Big Sur CERT, and the Community Association of Big Sur 


Big Sur Health Center:

Executive Director Sharen Carey reports for the Big Sur Health Center:

  • 2 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Big Sur.
  • As of 6-30, 111 people have been tested at the Health Center.
  • Following Monterey County guidance, Big Sur Health Center policy will be to not release any specifics around any positive COVID-19 cases in Big Sur.
  • Sharen encourages the Big Sur community to wear masks in public, maintain social distancing, frequently wash your hands and above all, be kind to one another.

Big Sur Fire, Chief Matt Harris reports:

  • That last weekend (June 25-26) was very busy and this 3 day weekend (July 3-5) is expected to be even more busy.
  • Starting Thursday night and going through this weekend, BSF will be patrolling the South Coast Ridges and the Nacimiento Rd for illegal campfires. Personnel from BSF will be in uniform, driving BSF vehicles and providing educational guidance and requesting those with fires to extinguish them. BSF does not have authority to cite illegal activities but can call for LE back up if needed.
  • CABS Ed Butch Kronlund commended Matt and the volunteers at BSF for their commitment. Pointing out that unfortunately this is a necessary step in the short term and that this level of commitment is not sustainable without some type of financial subsidy for this service. 

Fifth District Supervisor. Yuri Anderson for Supervisor Mary Adams reports.

  • As of today (July 1) Ca. Governor Newsom has rolled back the COVID-19 status of 19 Counties affecting indoor services.  Monterey County was not one of those Counties.
  • Although Monterey County has reported 3 days in a row of increasing infections, PPE at nursing facilities and ICU Hospital beds are currently sufficient.
  • As of now, no announcements changing Monterey Counties current status are expected.

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce reports:

  • Kirk Gafill declared that COVID-19 is real in Big Sur. 
  • BSHC ED Sharen Carey is a great resource for Businesses in Big Sur grappling with responding to a positive case of C-19.  
  • BSHC is playing an important role as a convenient testing location and was helpful with Nepenthe’s response plan.
  • Kirk went on to say that having the required response plan in place was instrumental in minimizing the potential spread of infection.  The process worked as intended leading to quick contact tracing, disinfection of any possible contamination and quarantine of any co-workers who test negative but who were in close proximity for the proscribed period of time as outlined in CDC and Monterey County Health Department guidelines.
  • Kirk also reported that both Post Ranch and Ventana Inn are expected to be open by mid July.
  • Diana Ballantyne reported that folks are welcome to sit down and order food and drinks from the Grill but that Bar seating will be closed and live music is cancelled.
  • The campground is open and doing well.
  • Watching C-19 developments closely and working to keep everyone safe.
  • Rick Aldinger pointed out that part of the Governor’s latest mandate includes law enforcement at the local level utilizing Cal OSHA, Alcoholic Beverage Control and the State Health Department to oversee and make sure protocols are being followed at businesses statewide.
  • Rick also reported that the Hospitality community is very concerned that Monterey County could join, at some point, those counties who have regressed in status or be added to the State watchlist, leading to potential restrictions in the ability to remain open for business.
  • MCHA is putting together a campaign aimed at 2 audiences stressing the right protocols.

Community Emergency Response Team, Martha Karstens:.

  • Final Gloves on training occurred last weekend resulting in 17 newly minted CERT members.
  • Upcoming trainings include a refresher for prior CERT members and a Red Cross CPR class. TBA.
  • USFS, LPNF Monterey District, Tom Murphey sitting in for Ranger Tim Short:
  • Tim Short, in response to resident requests for more boots on the ground reported via email…
  • Hi Butch and partners,
  • We share your concerns with fire risk, and the busy upcoming holiday weekend.  Unfortunately,  neither the funding from violation fines, or suppression costs are available for funding support of employees, except for those engaged in suppression activities.   Following are some insights into ongoing planning and actions using available resources.
  • Within our annually appropriated funding, coordination has been underway to maximize Forest Service field presence with existing district fire personnel.  These personnel, and qualified forest protection officers will be patrolling and enforcing the Forest Fire Restrictions.  Our field employees will be working extended shifts from 0930 to 2200 through the holiday (Friday and Saturday).  Some employees will be working days off to provide this extra coverage.
  • This includes two patrol units (light brush engines), five Type 3 engine modules and one 20 person hand crew.  One of these engine modules will be dispatched from the southern part of the forest (that also experiences visitor use management challenges) to support the Monterey District prevention activities, and be available for possible suppression, along with other forest resources.  Coordination with our law enforcement branch, which has forest wide responsibilities, is also underway.
  • In the meantime, we support engaging with our partners to seek better ways of managing visitor use and protecting our valuable natural resources.  Efforts are underway in implementing the strategic community fuelbreak project and other fuel reduction projects around the Monterey District.  Active partnerships with the county and fire safe councils are helping to further protect communities through defensible space.
  • Thomas Murphey added that as of this weekend all roads, trails and campgrounds are open except group campsites at Plaskett and Arroyo Seco.

Ca. State Parks, Monterey District, Big Sur Sector Superintendent Marcos Ortega:

  • All parks in the area are now open. But Day Use Are parking lots will close.  Walk ins allowed.
  • This includes Pfeiffer State Park, JP Burns, Andrew Molera and Point Lobos.

Parks Management Company, Jeremy Waggoner reports:

  • All PMC facilities are open, except group camp sites.
  • Visitor numbers are down from usual for this time of year.
  • Out of County and State visitors are in the majority.
  • (Kirk believes tourist volume down 20-25%)

Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Mike Splain, ED:

  • Since the last call (between 6/26 & 6/30/20), 10 VWA Trail Crew Leaders & Volunteer Wilderness Rangers contributed 258 hours on 9 patrols, all on coast-side trails. Volunteers made 89 visitor contacts, packed out 31 pounds of trash, removed 14 user-created fire rings, cleaned up campsites, & replaced fire restriction signage. Volunteers also conducted brushing, tread work, & hazard reduction, reported 4 violations, replaced 1 backcountry toilet, & dismantled a user-created lean-to structure.

Esalen Institute. Lacy Shannon:

  • Unable to attend.

17th State Senate District, Colleen Courtney for Senator Bill Monning:

20th Congressional District, Katie Moon and Phil Deppert on behalf of Congressman Jimmy Panetta. 

  • Katie reported that Congressman Panetta was back in DC this week meeting with USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen and her Deputies regarding C-19 and the USFS response to wildfire.
  • Jimmy also highlighted the issue of lack of adequate enforcement on the Monterey District. He pointed out that more enforcement of open fire restrictions would result in less fires and costs in suppression. The next step in achieving the goal of more enforcement is in the Appropriations Committee.
  • Panetta is also backing legislation to address $5.2 Billion in deferred maintenance in the Forest as well as seeking parity in compensation for USFS Firefighters with their peers in other Agencies.
  • On June 30th, Jimmy led a delegation of Members of Congress to meet with the White House COVID-19 task force to press for production of more PPE and to discuss a detailed national strategy for evacuation in a major fire event.
  • Katie also provided links for public comment on the Wind Power project and the South Coast surveillance tower project.

Offshore Wind 

  • The attached Notice of Availability contains instructions for public comment:
  • “The CEC encourages use of its electronic commenting system. Visit
  • https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Ecomment/Ecomment.aspx?docketnumber=17-MISC-01, which links to the comment page for this docket. Enter your contact information and a comment title describing the subject of your comment(s). Comments may be included in the “Comment Text” box or attached in a downloadable, searchable Microsoft® Word (.doc, .docx) or Adobe® Acrobat® (.pdf) file. Maximum file size is 10 MB.
  • Written comments may also be submitted by email. Include the docket number, 17- MISC-01, and Offshore Renewable Energy in the subject line and send to docket@energy.ca.gov.
  • If preferred, a paper copy may be submitted to:
  • California Energy Commission
  • Docket Unit, MS-4
  • Re: Docket No. 17-MISC-01
  • 1516 Ninth Street
  • Sacramento, CA 95814-5512”

CBP Surveillance Tower

  • Upon learning of the CBP Tower proposal in May, Rep Panetta convened a meeting between elected officials and Coastal Commission staff to ask questions about the CCC process for review and request that CCC allow for a public comment period. In response, CCC pushed the decision deadline back to July 15, 2020 to allow for more time to hear concerns and work on the submittal. To make a comment, residents or any member of the public can contact Mr. Larry Simon:
  • Larry Simon
  • Manager, Federal Consistency Unit
  • Energy, Ocean Resources and
  •    Federal Consistency Division
  • California Coastal Commission
  • 45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94105
  • (415) 904-5288
  • larry.simon@coastal.ca.gov
  • www.coastal.ca.gov
  • Update from South Coast LUAC Chair Connie McCoy:
  • At the June 24 Planning Commission meeting, a quick update on the CBP proposal was given as to what had transpired since the May 12 South Coast LUAC meeting and  May 27 Planning Commission meeting.
    Because of public input, CBP has agreed to push the date for the Federal Consistency Unit to September 15.  They also are considering a new design for the tower and a new location.   
  • The Federal Consistency Determination Unit and the County are still trying to bring CBP back to another South Coast LUAC meeting, but so far CBP has resisted.  

30th Assembly District, Dominic Dursa for Assembly Member Robert Rivas:

  • Unable to call in.

Monterey County Sheriff Department, Deputy Villasenor:

  • Unable to call in.

Community Association of Big Sur, Butch Kronlund. ED:

  • Butch reported that the Draft DSP is available. 
  • Public comment is encouraged on the Draft Big Sur DSP through July 6th, 2020. To see the plan and make comments go to bigsurdsp.com.  Additionally, there will be a community Zoom call.  See below:
     
    You are invited to the Big Sur Community Zoom webinar:    
      
    When: July 6, 2020, 3:00 PM      
        
    Topic: Community Association of Big Sur and Beyond Green Travel Q & A on the Draft Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan.  If you have not already done so, please review the plan prior to the webinar.   
      
    Register in advance for this webinar:
      
    https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SoiY3VTwSGegOU4rNZufRA    
      
    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
  • Public comment on the Draft DSP will close at midnight Pacific Time on July 6th 2020.
  • Butch also reported that a third tranche of financial relief has gone out to Big Sur’s most vulnerable residents bringing the totals to: 166 checks written, supporting 123 families for a total of $192,300.
  • Butch polled the stakeholder group and all expressed an interest in continuing to meet on Wednesday at 2pm.

NO FIREWORKS!!

Fourth of July visitors reminded that fireworks

are always prohibited on Los Padres National Forest

GOLETA, Calif. – Los Padres National Forest officials are reminding Fourth of July visitors that the possession or use of fireworks—including the “safe and sane” variety—is always prohibited in the Forest. This year-round prohibition will be strictly enforced throughout the holiday weekend. 

A violation of the law could result in a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail. In addition, anyone causing a wildfire is potentially liable for the cost of suppressing the fire. 

The Forest asks that all visitors take the appropriate precautions to prevent accidental wildfires:

·         Under high fire restrictions, campfires are only permitted in developed campgrounds and must always be attended by a responsible person.

·         Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit can use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of designated Campfire Use Sites. California Campfire Permits are available for free download from our website (http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf). You must clear all flammable material for 10 feet in all directions from your camp stove, have a shovel and water available nearby, and ensure that a responsible person always attends the stove when it is in use.

  • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or developed campground. 

·         Internal or external combustion engines require properly installed, functional spark arresters. This requirement is in effect year-round.

·         Avoid parking vehicles on grass, as hot engines can ignite dry vegetation.

·         Contact the Ranger Station nearest your destination for the latest conditions.

Under a current Forest Order, campfires are prohibited outside of developed campgrounds and can result in a fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail. Due to the alarming rise in illegal campfires associated with dispersed camping across national forests in California, visitors are encouraged to report any signs of dispersed campfires to the nearest Forest Service Officer or Ranger Station. To report a fire or other emergency, call 911.