The Ponderosa Fire area is still closed, as of this morning. That means Nacimiento Rd is closed and the South Coast Ridge Rd. is closed. I have been informed that mop-up is pretty much finished, so I expect the roads to open soon.
What I can’t believe is that the smoke is this heavy from the La Brea Fire. I can only imagine how much worse it must be down south. I have scoured my sources to make sure there isn’t anything closer, but can find nothing to explain the smoke other than La Brea, one county south.
Inciweb had this to report this morning, and the press release issued at 9 am mirrors this inciweb post:
The La Brea Fire, which started on Saturday, August 8 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.
Heavy 87 year old fuels (vegetation), long range spotting and moderate to rapid rates of spread have continued to hamper fire fighters in their efforts to contain the fire. Extreme fire behavior has been observed since the fire began. Flames from the fire could be seen on the Sierra Madre ridgeline from areas along SR-166 yesterday afternoon and evening. Last night fire behavior was moderate due to increased relative humidity and no major runs or spotting were observed.
The portion of the forest from the intersection of SR-166 and Sierra Madre Road east to McPherson Peak, south to the Sisquoc and west to the forest boundary is currently closed due to the fire emergency. Campgrounds in the area have been evacuated.
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday August 08th, 2009 approx 02:50 PM
Location 26 Miles east of Santa Maria
Incident Commander Jeanne Pincha – Tulley
Total Personnel 580
Size 10,500 acres
Chaparral (6 feet)
Fire behavior was moderate last night due to increased relative humidity. No major runs or spotting was observed.
A closure of the forest in and around the area of the fire is in place. Evacuations of hunters and campers in front of and adjacent to the fire were made.
Continue direct attack on the southern and east perimeter of the fire. Crews will also continue constructing contingency lines outside of the wilderness.
CIIMT Team-3 (Pincha-Tulley) assumed command of the fire this morning at 0600.