Ponderosa Fire, 8/2/09

8:30 pm – reports are that Ponderosa has reached 500 acres. Sam Jones is 600 and moving north across containment lines. Here is a last look at the Ponderosa fire tonight. This photo is not as spectacular as the plumes from earlier, but what it shows is fire in an east west Canyon, moving in both directions. This canyon is north of the McKern Rd. firebreak, which I drove on today. It is wide, and it is clear, so it would be hard for the fire to cross that. And if this canyon fire does move west, as it appears, it will run into the footprint of the Chalk Fire.


You can see the smoke all the way down the canyon, behind the trees and the bushes. It actually goes even further west, but that is not visible in the photograph. This is shot looking north north-east, so west would be off the left side.

News release just came in at 2:56 pm. See USFS page to the right for the entire missive.

2:00 pm update:Jim Smith’s Type II Incident team will be in command. You can find information about the team here: http://ccimt7.imtcenter.net/main/index.aspx

Spoke with District Ranger Tune and the press release is being prepared. At this point they are calling it 200 plus. She said when the team comes in at 1700 (Smith’s Type II IT) then it is her understanding that the Ponderosa will be put up on inciweb. I would imagine that might not happen until tomorrow morning.

WildlandFire posted this: “Per Southops: Ponderosa CA-LPF-2563, The fire has burned 250 acres with a potential to triple in size. Ponderosa and Nacimiento Campgrounds have been evacuated. The Nacimiento-Ferguson Road has been closed. Smith’s Type II Incident Management Team has been assigned to the fire.”

More photos from late this morning to follow here:


This was was taken at 11:04 am, and clearly shows the McKern Rd. firebreak.


These people snuck through before the signs were posted on Highway One, but were turned around. This is the intersection of South Coast Ridge Rd. and Nacimiento.


This photograph shows the burn from the Chalk Fire, with the Madrone regrowth and the Ponderosa Fire in the background.

You tired of these plumes, yet? I have a couple more showing the progression of the north flank, then I am finished until this evening, when I will go shoot some more photos.

Here’s the last one this afternoon, showing the progression of the north flank.


When I know more, I will post more.

1:30 pm. These photos were taken starting at 10:50 am from various places along South Coast Ridge Rd. This first one is from 10:50 am from about 1/2 mile south of Plaskett intersection.


I took a series of shots in 2 minutes from this spot, and it is interesting to watch the progression. I’ll post 4 here.




And now, a short break in the photo show, so that I might bring some information to my readers in the 2:00 pm update above.

12:30 pm. Just got back from my field trip. Photos and more photos up shortly. Impressive plumes. Fire south of N-F Rd., and north of the McKern Rd/firebreak. Lots of air attack. 3-4 miles, maybe 5, from me. Spotters up on South Coast Ridge Rd just north of McKern. N-F Rd. closed. Sheriff on top. Locals can go west. Now, to sort and post some photos.

7 thoughts on “Ponderosa Fire, 8/2/09

  1. The fire is burning on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road near the Ponderosa Campground in the Ventana Wilderness.
    The slope driven fire is 120 acres of grass and medium brush.
    The started on 08-01-09 at 1945 hours.
    The two campgrounds have been evacuated in the area.
    The fire is within the footprint of the 2008 “Chalk” fire contingency lines.
    The fire’s potential for 3000 to 5000 acres.
    Currently no infrastructure is being threatened.
    Discussing Unified Command with Fort Hunter-Leggit.

  2. The fire was listed as over 200 acres by about 2 pm this afternoon. Based on my visuals, where I have a pretty good overview, I’d say it is bigger than that.

    It is actually burning on Slippery Trail, on the Negro Creek. Ponderosa CG has not burned, per a few hours ago, but is evacuated. It has been dozed around to protect it.

    It is north of the McKern Rd/firebreak created during the Chalk Fire, on the South, and Nacimiento Rd on the north.

  3. Pingback: oh, damn « Okir
  4. At 6:00 this evening a large smoke plume was visible all the way down here in Atascadero. Either the fire was really running or they did a burn-out operation. With all the lines in place from last year I would imagine they’ll get a good handle on it in the next couple of days, but you never know. Sure wouldn’t like to see the Silver Peak Wilderness get scorched anytime soon.

  5. Thanks for this valuable coverage. I have advised hikers to avoid the area completely. Not even sure at this time if they could access Silver Peak region if they wanted to. Most are opting for Botcher’s Gap area. WB Coast Ridge Outfitters at Big Sur/Fernwood

  6. Wally and others … Cruckshank Trail and Salmon Creek are not affected. South Coast Ridge Rd., Nacimiento, Plaskett Ridge Rd., and Willow Creek Rd. are all closed. Highway One and points west of the Highway are open, such as Mill Creek, Kirk Creek, Sand Dollar, Jade Cover, and Willow Creek day use area. Campgrounds Plaskett and Kirk Creek are open.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.