Chalk Update, 10/19/08, Day 23

First light visual indicates the thick marine layer present last night is still with us, which hopefully kept the fire quiet on the Western Front last night. No night shots last night, as the fire was burning on the north side of Twin Peak and Cone Peak. Of course, on the eastern front it has just about burned itself into the Indians, and on the northern flank, the Basin Fire. Morning thermals indicate no new hot spots. *sigh of relief*

Here is this morning’s “fire” shot. You can see the smoke plume coming from behind Twin Peak on the north-west side. I have also marked the approximate location of the Hermitage. I cannot really see it through the haze, even with my binoculars, and without my usual visual clues from Ruth’s house, I cannot be certain. You can also see the heavy dozer line above it and to the right. I have also marked Twin Peak, and Limekiln, which is tucked behind that ridge, and thus not visible from here.

Gordon from the Hermitage reports below in the comment section. I am hoping he will be able to continue to report on conditions there. As I wrote him, thousands are praying for the people who remained behind, and the physical well-being of the place itself. I have direct line-of-sight, as Michael will attest, having witnessed it first hand, and will be watching throughout the day.

Inciweb is reporting no increase in acreage, and no increase in containment. A portion of the report states:

“Significant Events  

Fire established in the West fork of Lime Kiln Drainage.

Planed Actions 

Prepare for Firing Operation from reopened Dozer line for the protection of Lime Kiln State Park and the Hermitage Monastery. Protect structures North of Lime Kiln and Hermitage. Monitor fire conditions North of Cone peak in order to protect line from Cone Peak to Twin Peak.”

There is currently a burn out operation going on behind that back ridge north east of the Hermitage. 

Here is the start of the burn out operation, from my perspective. The burn out operation is the small skinny plume in the center of the photograph. I am still trying to put Gordon’s shots in a format my programs will recognize:

From inciweb: “Chalk Fire Update @11:15am

Crews may begin firing operations this afternoon along an improved section of dozer line east of the Hermitage. Burning operations will begin 2 miles north of the Hermitage and continue to the south along the dozer line.” 


I am busy watching the runs from the firing out operations. I have taken LOTS of photos, but I am too busy watching and photographing. The firing out operation seems to be going well, making its way down the inside the dozer line, making its way down into the canyon. Lots to see, lots to report, and I am multitasking beyond my abilities, considering the margaritas with the “ex.”

Gordon, from the Hermitage sent me photos taken around 1:30 pm from his perspective. While I can view them, I cannot seem to convert them from plaintext to jpg so that I can upload them. 

Here is a close-up of the burn operation. I wish I could get better shots, and I may have one or more. I have just been shooting all afternoon, and have to find which are best. Here’s one to start. So far, it looks like a great operation. Can’t wait for the night shots, unless it gets down under the ridge.


Here is a slightly better one:

Okay, maybe not better, just another view of the flames.

And here is another view of the line of fire going down from the dozer line. Lookin’ good!

6 thoughts on “Chalk Update, 10/19/08, Day 23

  1. Smoke is thick at the hermitage this morning. We seem to be at the convergence of the marine layer from the west and the smoke from the east. There is an ominous feel to it all, but that could be partly informed by my lack of coffee intake this morning.

  2. We are praying for you all down there at Hare, Limekiln, Gamboa Canyon and especially for the Hermitage.

    Rain will come, it just has to.

  3. We have two lines in our favor here. One is a solid dozer line. The other is the line dug out by the collective prayers of our monastic community and all our friends. Between the two we should be fine.

  4. Gordon reports further: “There are four monks remaining and about six workers including my son who chose an interesting time to come visit from Seattle. We all have faith that the hermitage will remain intact. There is good dozer line protecting us. Depending on who you ask word is that they may do a backburn from the [?] but it is not clear at least to me if/when that will happen. From within the monastery grounds we can’t see the fire. It’s just over the E/NE edge of the bowl we live in. If you can see it, I would be very interested to know how busy it looks this morning.

    I’ll keep you posted in the event things get exciting or not.”

    Gordon, after I’ve had my daily dose of coffee, gotten up and dressed, I will let you know what I can see, and/or take photos throughout the day.

  5. Gordon: I’m a SoCal oblate…grateful for your diligent updates. Many many prayers coming from this area, too, for all there at the Hermitage, the firefighters, monks, neighbors and all who are helping. Blessings…..Donna Dorn

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