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.

6 thoughts on “La Brea Wildfire (E. of Santa Maria)

  1. Kate,
    USFS requested our new Type 3 for coverage at Los Prietos station this morning. But since we only have one engine, we do not take it out of the area.
    The area of the fire was spared during the Zaca Fire.

  2. Firefox, is that usual for the USFS to ask for coverage out of area for a local volunteer fire brigade? I can understand coverage IN area, but Los Prietos isn’t in the BSVFB coverage area.

  3. “THE FIRE WENT FROM 150 TO 1200 ACRES IN LESS THAN 3 HOURS YESTERDAY”…………..WOW!!!!!! That’s scary anywhere!

  4. I guess you can say its offically ‘fire season’ now. We got a severe heat warning for inland up here today. Supposed to get into the triple digits. On the coast mid to upper 70’s.

  5. Whereas down here in Pismo Beach we’ve been under a brown fog for two days, with ashes falling on everything. And it’s cold. Worst of both worlds…

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