On this day ten years ago

All day long I’ve sat at my desk, looking at a photo of lightning I took 10 years ago today.


I sat outside, after dark with my old Nikon, taking photo after photo, not knowing what would come out, it was only ASA 400 (the forerunner of ISO). I have a tag on it explaining about the photo. All day, I’ve thought about commemorating the day, but with the Carmel Valley Fire, and work … Then Stan sent me the link below to some incredible photos he shot, and that did it. Work can wait for 10 minutes more.

It was a magnificent light show. Dry lightning. It spawned the Kirk-Hare Fire (later called the Kirk Complex) which burned over 80,000 acres and lasted 3 months. My photo was film and all that remains is the small 3×5 photo I have.


However, if you’d like to see some outstanding shots by Stan Russell of the lightning that night, go to this link:
Stan Russell lightning shots

But for a real step back in time, visit Big Creek’s recount of the various fires complete with photos. This account appears to have been done by our own John Smiley, with help from stewart Feynner Arias. What a history lesson for those of us who only kept track of the basics. See the link below:

UCSC-Big Creek fire report

Carmel Valley Fire

Early this morning, a fire broke out at a home on Tassajara Rd. The home was destroyed, and another building was partially destroyed, along with 2 vehicles. The occupants were able to get out and are not injured. CalFire, Carmel Valley Fire and Cachagua Volunteer Fire Brigade worked to prevent it from spreading to the surrounding vegetation. At last report, 1/2 acre is involved, no other structures currently threatened.

Kelly O’Brien of KUSP and Jamesburg reports: “The fire started at about 4:00 am this morning. The local CERT and Community Task Force member Greg Schermann began calling neighbors at about 5:00 am to warn them about the danger of this structure fire turning into a wildland fire.

The fire spread rapidly, and by the time Cachagua Fire crews arrived on scene – minutes after the start of the blaze – the fire had engulfed the entire house, casting firebrands over a wide area and threatening the brush and wildlands adjacent to the property.”

Here is a photo to provide an idea of the location taken by Kelly O’Brien. You can see the smoke from the fire, and the hill up which it could have easily run directly behind it:
Kelly tells us: “Cachagua, Carmel Valley and Cal Fire Crews responded.

The hill you see behind the property was threatened, but thanks to quick, very regimented and thoughtful action, the house, which was engulfed in flames, did not turn into a wildland fire. This intersection is the only way out of the area for Jamesburg residents ( the direction from which I’m shooting the pic ).”

Tassajara House

“Remains of the house… one outbuilding was a also destroyed. The family is OK and all of their animals survived. The fire was believed started by a bad electrical connection… many extension cords were used on the property, and it’s possible that the one used to power a chicken coop heater may have caused the blaze,” Kelly O’Brien writes.

Thanks, Kelly for the great reporting and photos. I should have to pay you a salary — that is if I made anything from my blog!! Thank goodness KUSP can pay you!

And lastly, a huge THANK YOU to the men and women of Cachagua VFB, Carmel Valley Fire and Cal Fire Crews.

A little side note — this is my 500th post since I started this silly blog on July 5, 2008. A milestone, of sorts. 500 posts in 14 months. Whew!