TWO new Fires- Correction, THREE!!

When does it end? Today, two NEW fires started. Let’s hope they get resolved fast. One is at Clear Ridge, and seems to be under control, and the second is at Partington Cove, started by a downed power line. Highway One IS closed due to this incident. (My original report was made around two. A review of the CHP site, indicates the road was closed at that time, and opened intermittently approximately 1/2 hour later. See below for subsequent developments.)

Reports on Highway One closure are conflicting. Stan Russell insists the highway is open, USFS, PUSD, KUSP, and scanner traffic indicate it is closed for a couple hours. I am attempting to confirm with the CHP and/or Cal-Trans the status.

As of 2:34 pm, according to the CHP website, Highway One is closed intermittently in the NB lane due to this new fire. OR, to state it in a more “politically correct” manner, the Highway is subject to intermittent delays, JNO of J-P Burns State Park. All delays, closures, openings, etc. subject to change according to current conditions.

4:00 pm, got a report from Kimball, who was stuck at the Cove Fire for almost 2 hours, during the “delay.” He reports from the ground, and scanner, that there is/was a fire on the Tin House Rd. at about 1200 ft. A helicopter was doing bucket drops when the bucket clipped the power lines at Partington Cove, which started the fire. The helicopter doing the drapery work on the highway had to land on the highway to avoid creating problems with the water-dropping helicopter, as there was no traffic control handling both copters. Kimball reports the Cove fire was flaming up hill toward Partington Ridge Rd. when he went by, approximately 2:30 pm, when the CHP opened the highway, intermittently. “Thousands” of cars had been backed up by that time. I don’t have any further information on the Tin House Rd. Fire, but the Clear Ridge fire was cleared up relatively fast, but the accident did cause burn injuries to one individual. An elderly person was taken by ambulance from the Cove Fire. NFD.

At 3:57, the highway was closed. At 4:13 pm, Cal-Trans was escorting traffic through, as allowed by fire activity. CHP plans on having two officers present doing a “round-robin” throughout the evening.

Obviously, this is a dynamic situation, subject to change moment-to-moment.

At 7 pm, CHP reporting both lanes open and signs posted. Also, a note from the CHP site, a blood draw was requested from the vehicle accident on Clear Ridge. Huh, oh. DUI suspect?

And tonight, wildlandfire is reporting: “Partington Cove on Off Highway 1 Also when forest serrvice copter arrived on scene his buckect broke. Thats when 902 from Bear Valley responded to fire. I[t] was minor fire but it just kept skunking around on them thats why they wanted CPTR. It sounds like tomorrow they will have 1 engine on patrol.”

So, it looks as if it all ends well, this evening. Whew. Really. I am SO tired of fire this season. I have other things to do with my life than report on fires!

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2 thoughts on “TWO new Fires- Correction, THREE!!

  1. I’m about ready to buy a sub and sit off in Monterey Bay and wait out this years fires. The one up here today just a block & a half away again scared me half to death. What if I were here at home alone with all the pets & no way to get them out?

    Kate I think i’m going to have a nervous breakdown. 😛

  2. hey Kate!
    Thanks for the great posts! Regarding the fire on Partington, it perfectly illustrates the sad state of fire safety on Partington. When I went down to one house near the Cove Fire, I came across scorched shrubs, weeds, debris and junk heaped and piled around the home, after walking down a very narrow driveway overhung with dense dry brush.
    The one safe spot to turn around an engine was blocked by a huge derelict vehicle. This forced the engines to back down the driveways slowing the attack on the fire.
    Further, it seemed that no one had bothered to do any sort of fire clearance anywhere along the road after the fire to continue to protect their homes.
    With the hot weather, low humidity and lack of available resources, another fire could be disastrous. EVEN IN AREAS THAT ALREADY EXPERIENCED FIRE.
    There is areas where unburned material, especially along the lower portions of the Parrtington road, could come in contact with many ignition sources. These areas lead directly up to homes.
    Where is the Defensible Space? How many homes will we lose next time, when resources are stretched to the breaking point and several fires are reported on the same day, such as Wednesday?

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