12:00 pm

Los Padres National Forest


Monterey County Sheriff’s Department has issued an EVACUATION WARNING
in effect for the Limekiln north and the New Camaldoli Hermitage. This
warning is given for affected areas where there is imminent threat to
life and property. Persons who receive this notice should evacuate in
accordance with the direction of the deputies on scene.


An EVACUATION WATCH has been issued by the Monterey County Sheriff’s
Department for Lucia north to Lopez Point. This order is for areas
where a threat to life and property exists. Persons issued this notice
are not required to evacuate but should be prepared to evacuate should
an Evacuation Warning be issued.

Significant resources (handcrews, engines and dozers) are engaged in
structure preparations.

The fire was very active last night and spread north towards Twin Peak
into the west fork of Limekiln Creek testing contingency lines. .

Air tankers and helicopters making retardants and water drops to reduce
fire intensity and slow the fire’s spread and crews are working direct
where possible. Fire fighter and public safety remains the highest

This was taken from the Limekiln Bridge, about 1/2 hour before the evacuation orders were issued. It is quite different being on the ground, rather than up on my perch, where I have a much better over all view.

These guys and gals were parked on the turn out right across from Twitchell Flats at around 11:30 am.

NOTE from Kate: Well, I was trying to figure out what all those speeding MCSO cars I saw going south around noon, south of Esalen were doing. Now I know! Red lights, sirens, the whole thing. What I suspect is that the fire crossed that last ditch line the Monterey Hotshots spent several days earlier this week putting in, as a contingency. Either that, or it has approached the line and they are worried about it not holding.

Consumed by Fire

As my friend firefighterblog
has reminded me, Big Sur has been consumed by fire this season. Frankly, I did not remember that we had a small fire on April 17, 2008 in the Dolan Ridge area that closed Highway One, for a time. Then, of course, on June 8, 2008, the Indians Fire started. While it was burning, the Gallery/Basin fire started on June 21, 2008. It was not contained until July 27, 2008. Ah … and then a welcomed respite for two months to the day, until the Chalk Fire started. Tomorrow will be three weeks. I thought it was over before the Jade Festival, but Mother Nature was simply taking a break so we could put on our show. The day after the Jade Festival, it started acting up again, and yesterday, it came unhinged, as the photos I posted yesterday and last night demonstrate.

Here is today’s view:

And with that, I will sign off. I have a girl’s night out with a LIMO, no less! I am escaping the fire, at least temporarily.

Okay, having lunch in town, totally wireless, and Kimball informs me that they brought back Jim Smith, the Type II IC. Not surprising, considering what I have been reading and seeing. Also, Kimball has posted some new thermals, as of 1 pm this afternoon. See them at: Coast Communications

The drive to town was like driving through a war zone. First the Chalk Fire, which really is not impacting the highway too badly; then the rehab, reconstruction, desperate attempts to save the highway from gravity this winter. Lots of stoppages from Lucia north to Andrew Molera. Add 1/2 hour to your town run time, if coming from the south coast.

Remember, firing out operations for the next few days in an attempt to get a handle on this unpredictable dame!