La Brea Wildfire (E. of Santa Maria)

Inciweb for this incident;

Editorial Comment: Inciweb reported at 7 pm the fire was 10K acres, which equates to 15 sq. miles. Frankly, I have trouble believing that a fire that was doubling in size all morning long did not gain any acreage over a 6 hour period. Granted, these are all “estimates” but these air attack guys and gals get pretty good at estimating these fires.

08/09/2009 @1730
FLASH!….There are reports that flames can now be seen from the Spanish Ranch area of Highway 166. Crews continue to hold the fire at the Sierra Madre Ridge. Incident command is working to provide an updated acreage figure. (inciweb)

1:00 pm – Air Attack estimates the fire at 10,000 acres. Column can be seen in Bakersfield. Drift smoke here.

12:00 noon – “Per ops radio traffic, fire possibly estimated at 5000-6000 acres per AA.” on wildlandfire

11:30 am – drift smoke, but no plume visible this far away. Fire moving north. T

Approximately 9:30 this am inciweb reported:
Current Situation
Total Personnel 362
Size 2,500 acres
Fuels Involved Chaparral
Fire Behavior The fire pushed out in all directions last night and major runs as well as spotting were observed.
Significant Events No action was taken during the evening due to the lack of an anchor point, inaccessable terrain and extreme fire behavior.
Planned Actions Establish anchor points.
Growth Potential Extreme
Terrain Difficulty Extreme
Other reports indicate this area hasn’t burned since 1966, and reports are that everyone is gearing up for the long haul.
CA-IMT #3 (Pincha-Tulley) has been assigned.

08/09/2009 @0500
Morning update in progress….
The La Brea Fire, which started yesterday at 2:50 pm, continues to burn in an area of the San Rafael Wilderness that is very steep and difficult to reach on the ground.
The fire moved very rapidly yesterday and long range spotting ahead of the main body of the fire was observed. Bulldozers and crews worked to prepare an area along the Sierra Madre Road to be used as a fire break, should the fire reach there. Eight fixed wing air tankers along with five helicopters were utilized to battle the blaze from the air. Aircraft will again be used on the fire today, just as soon as the sun comes up and it is light enough to launch them from their bases.
Fire behavior is expected to increase today with the high temperature and low relative humidity that is predicted.

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Location 26 Miles east of Santa Maria
Incident Commander Jamie Copple
Current Situation
Total Personnel 362
Size 1,300 acres
Fuels Involved
Growth Potential
Terrain Difficulty

While not close to us, it is of note. Problems with access, with rapid ROS. This from Cal-Fire:

CA-LPF-La Brea Wildland Fire – Los Padres National Forest

Update: 18:00hrs – Fire now reported at 1200 acres, Texas Canyon, Palomar Hotshots enroute.
Update: 17:30hrs – Per SBC PIO Twitter: SBCFireDO536″La Brea” Inc. Veg. Fire. Los Padres Nation Forest. East of Santa Maria. 800 Acres.

Opening of Hunting Season, 8/8/09

Dawn and dusk … gun fire permeates the best times of the day. The quiet and serenity of the place I call home is disturbed. The critters are disturbed, and somewhere, a buck may be fighting for his life — running in fear from the guns that populate these hills. I prefer the bow hunters. They are silent, the bucks have an equal chance, and only the best hunters are rewarded. With guns, even an idiot can get lucky. My experience is the bow hunters don’t use 4 tracs, either. They are stealth. They are swift. And they really know how to hunt. I have complete and utter respect for them. Kelly Collins used a bow. He was a real hunter.

Since dawn … one dog hides under the couch — Dakota has always been frightened of the sound of gun fire. (BTW-the inside is completely healed, finally. The outer skin has not yet closed, but I expect to lift her “house arrest” in a week or two.) Bear, on the other hand, barks constantly at the sound of gun fire. Gideon and Miranda seem indifferent, until the shots get closer, as they are now.

I have the wonderful task of dodging the idiots as I make my way down the coast to restock on everything. Debating the trip. On the one hand, I can get photos of all the yahoos and their vehicles, just in case someone does something stupid. On the other hand, do I really want to be dodging bullets? Hmmm …