Plaskett Fire Update


5:00 pm – lots of traffic going out. Looks like it is all wrapped up.

THANK YOU FIRE FIGHTERS – LPNF, CAL-FIRE, AND OUR WONDERFUL LOCAL VOLUNTEERS! I am going straight to the BSVFB page and make another donation! Have you donated, lately? If not, the start of the fire season is a great time to do so, and BSVFB makes it easy, just click on their link under Big Sur links – paypal and credit cards accepted. Is this a plug? You bet it is! Even if you are from out of the area, and can only give $5, it all adds up, so please consider donating today.

12:30 pm – during the last hour a lot of USFS and Cal-Fire and apparently private pick-up trucks have come through here going down to the fire – at least 8. All the beds were jam-packed with all kinds of gear. I have been informed that this is probably rehab.

Here is a scribble map of the fire’s location.

At 11 am, Kinnick reports that the water tanker is still pumping water out of the well, and taking it down to the crews below.

USFS came through here about 8 am. Said there is still a bit of smoke and that they will have crews on it all day today, but it is definitely controlled. LPF E 18, just went home at 8:30 am, LPF E 19 just went home at 9 am. The two Gabilan Fire Crews just went home at 9:30 am.


11:30 pm – last truck through?

8:30 pm – another LPNF Monterey crew came through around 8. What’s that about? But my view of the fire from the front gate looks as if it is knocked down. No wind up here, all afternoon, despite the conditions on the coast and in Big Sur Valley. If internet cooperates, I will post some photos tonight.

7:15 pm – I have been trying to upload a photo for over a couple hours and no go. Plus I can’t update while I do that. So photos later. Two Gabilan crew trucks came through around 6, and a Monterey crew truck around 7 pm. Much of BSVFB is on its way home, Air support has pretty much ceased, but the word I have is that the fire is or will be knocked down by sunset. Mop-up tomorrow, in all likelihood. No worries from my end.

4:30 pm – just went to the front gate to take a look. It is *not* coming this way, it is heading down the face toward Willow Creek, so I am in pretty good shape, unless the wind changes. This was taken from the front gate, at 4:30 pm:

4:00 pm – BSVFB just came through! YAY!! It is going to be a very busy afternoon!

3:45 pm – LPNF E 15 came through at 2:58; LE at 3:25 (Roberta); LPNF Es 18 and 19 at 3:40 pm, with red lights. The fire is at Hard Rock’s driveway, if you know where that is. No evacuation at this time. Planes are laying down retardant, and a helicopter bucket is getting from the ocean. I will post as I can. I am busy taking photos, and as Avis writes below, I am having internet problems. Naturally.

This is the boray tanker. You can tell by the color of its belly. At least, I think it is a boray tanker. The pink on its belly is a little pale. Maybe because it is early in the season? 😉

This was taken from the front gate, around 3:30 pm:

This is the smoke around 2:45 pm from just in front of my place;

Hello readers of Big Sur Kate. Kate is not able to get online and asked me to post this.

As of early this afternoon there is a wildfire on Plaskett Ridge. The information I was told is that it is near the top. Which puts it near Kate’s house. And near Kinnick’s property.

As I am typing this I hear another siren going by.

The following information was given to me from a local who is on the fire brigade.

On scene at this time are the:

U.S. Forest Service – BC – Patrol 18 & Engine 18

Big Sur Fire Brigade – Engine 7832 – 7831 & Fire Brigade Chief.

Planes are flying and I was told they appear to be spotter planes and that helicopters and bombers will be on scene soon.

The Fire Brigade  member also told me,

The grasses are tall and dry up there and this fire will move quickly in the grasses. Fortunately the brush still has moisture in it and when the fire reaches it, it should slow down and that may be where they will be able to contain the fire. But it is windy and nothing is for sure at this time.

The chatter on the USFS radio is of possible evacuations of Plaskett. This has not been yet confirmed.

That’s all I know at this time. I will, or Kate if she is able, post more when we know.

Special Upcoming Events

For those of you who know Gail Chambers, she has retired from teaching at Pacific Valley School. A special retirement BBQ/potluck is being held at the school, tomorrow, Saturday June 19th at 2 pm.

Gail has been with the school longer than I can remember. She was there 21 years ago, when I first started there, and has taught the children of the children she has taught over the years. Everyone who knows and loves Gail like we do, is welcome. Gail’s only request is that if you have old photographs, you bring those.

The following Saturday, June 26th, a special International “Hands Across the Sands” will be held at Pfeiffer Beach at 11 am.

“Now is the time for America and our leaders to join hands and steer our country’s energy policy away from our dependence on fossil fuels and into the light of clean energy and renewables.

Join hands with us and draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling

On Saturday, June 26th, millions will join hands on beaches across California, the nation and the GLOBE for “Hands Across the Sand”, a day of action opposing new offshore drilling while promoting safe and renewable alternatives.

Join the Sierra Club, the Audibon Society, Surfrider, Oceana, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife,Alaska Wilderness League, Ocean Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, Energy Action Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, among others, to draw a literal and figurative line in the sand to tell our elected officials that our coastline is not for sale!”

And finally, a celebration of Kevin Share’s Life will be held on Sunday, July 11th.

“Come join us for a day of good memories and music….
Today’s celebration will be potluck and BYOB.
Shuttle service will be provided from the Pfieffer pull-out on highway #1 starting around 1:30ish. the Pfieffer pull-out is approx a 1/2 mile south of the entrance to Pfieffer state park on the east side of the highway please park and wait for the shuttle.” The shuttle will take you up to Jessie’s House on Pfieffer Ridge in Big Sur.

Nature’s Glory

My internet has been almost dial-up speed for a week. Verizon and I are working on that. We spent an hour on the phone, trying various things, then upgraded the current software, which is providing some assistance, but not as much as it should, so they are sending a new card.

in the meantime, I am testing my uploading capabilities by posting these two shots from Plaskett Ridge Rd. taken yesterday. it is an experiment in connection.

Yucca Bloom

Grace in Motion

Oh, and while I’m “experimenting” I have to add this quote I found on the NOAA discussion for today, just for grins. What do you think they were trying to say? “MOSTLY SUNNY SKIES PEE ACROSS THE BAY AREA THIS AFTERNOON.” Is this a new forecasting term with which I am unfamiliar? How does a sunny sky pee?

Highway One, Big Sur Road Conditions June-July 2010

Well, after a sending a note to Susana about the construction at Willow Creek, it is now included on the official release. Thank you Susana! BTW, she has no way of knowing this, but flagging is sporadic, depending on the work being done. There was none today. It *is* a VERY confusing realignment of the roadway and flagging situation, even for someone who has been driving it for over 20 years. And what I REALLY like about this news release, is we are given some warning about projects coming up next month. Way to go, Suzanne!

“Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
District: 5 – Santa Barbara, SLO, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties
Contact: Susana Z. Cruz (Bilingual) or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3189


• Roadwork continues on a retaining wall project near Gamboa Point, three miles north of Lucia. A temporary signal is in place with work expected to be complete in July. Work hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7 am to 5 pm.

• Traffic continues down to one lane just south of Lucia with a temporary signal in place to perform slide stabilization and exploratory drilling. Work hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7 am to 5 pm with completion at the end of summer. Plans are being developed for a retaining wall with construction of the wall scheduled to begin this fall.

• The temporary signal about two miles south of Lucia at Pitkins Curve/Rain Rocks for the bridge/rockshed project remains in operation 24/7 and the project is expected to be complete in winter

• Construction of a crib wall and drainage improvements is taking place near Gorda at Willow Springs Creek. One-way reversing traffic control is in effect Mondays through Thursdays from 6 am to 4 pm and Fridays from 6 am to 1 pm. Work is expected to be complete in late July.

Upcoming work–
• Slide repairs at two locations near Big Sur just north of Big Sur River Bridge and 2 miles north of San Juan Higuera Creek Bridge is scheduled to begin in early July. More information on traffic control will follow. Work expected to be complete in September.

• Pavement overlay is scheduled to begin in early July about 12 miles south of Big Sur from just north of Burns Creek Bridge to south of Partington Ridge Road. One way traffic control will be in effect from 6 am to 4 pm Mondays through Thursdays and 6 am to 1 pm on Fridays. Work is expected to be complete in October.

• Construction of rock slope protection near Lucia at Limekiln Creek Bridge is scheduled to begin in early July and complete in September. Not much traffic control is anticipated but if needed, it will be in Conjunction with the Pitkins project. The traffic light at Pitkins will be turned off and motorists will be piloted Through both projects. More information will follow.”

Kudos to Cal-Trans and to Susana for keeping us all up-to-date, and particularly for giving us a “heads-up” on the upcoming projects for next month. Nice job!

Sunset Photography

These photos were taken Monday night, and I have been trying to upload them ever since. I am having undiagnosed internet connection problems, and it is frustrating beyond belief.

You know those days, when one notices the clouds are rather spectacular? You know, sort of like this:

And I knew, this is going to be one of those sunset nights. I mean, We have sunsets every night, and from up here, they are all pretty spectacular. But this one? I had a feeling, this one would be more spectacular than usual. Okay, maybe just simply spectacular. But I got my camera ready, kept an eye on the sky, and started shooting.

One of my challenges, in photographing a sunset series, is the changing light. I can barely keep up with it, changing the speed, the aperature, and the exposure compensation.

Until finally, the light has dimmed so sufficiently, that I must increase the ISO. I always do this last, as it increases the grain – err, the “noise” of the photograph, and that is difficult to address in a software program. Of course, one can always shoot into the sun to increase the light, but that presents its own set of problems.

Wretched lens flare! And yes, I have a hood, and a filter, but shooting directly into the sun is tricky! And I clearly haven’t gotten the hang of it. I sometimes use my hand to shade the lens, but did not, this time.
Of course, once the sun dips below the horizon, this is not a problem.

And finally the sun has slipped beneath the Pacific.

Header Photo Contest Entries

Okay, time to vote. You have until next Sunday, June 20th at midnight to vote for your favorite photo to be featured as my blog header. So no one gets confused, the number of the photo is on the photo itself. Some photographers have cropped their photos to fit my header already, others have not, but don’t let that confuse you. Pick the one you would like to see for a month or more. A winner will be picked on June 21st and posted on or about June 22nd.











Whoops – please don’t vote for “other.” There is no “other.” My bad, but do vote. As ever, it is completely anonymous. You can leave a comment below, or on the poll itself. Which one is your favorite?

Fires today, near Highway 41

Several fires today near Highway 41 on the way to Yosemite, the Walker, the Ranch, and Yosemite. The Walker (10:50 am: Vegetation Fire :Location: Rd 200 X House Ranch Rd,) and Ranch (11:10 am) fires were relatively close together, and were contained at about 20 acres total this afternoon. The Yosemite Fire near Coarsegold (Location at Rd 415 and Polk Ranch Rd.) just started at 6 pm and is only approximately 5 miles as the crow flies from the Walker incident. The first two fires were in north fork the third is near yosemite lakes park. With resources already on hand, I suspect this one will be contained as quickly as the other two were.

All three of these fires are near Highway 41. Coincidence? I suspect not. Of course, what this all means is that fire season is definitely here, and we need to be aware and fire cautious where ever we are in this state.

Herald Traffic Poll

Interesting results from the Herald poll.

Poll ended 6/12 (134 total votes):
Should the free-flowing turn from Carmel Valley Road onto northbound Highway 1 become permanent?

Yes — 67 votes, or 50%
No — 67 votes, or 50%

Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote. CV and Big Sur/Highlands are tied. Next, attend the meeting Monday, if you can.

Highway One nightmares to return?

This next week, during the once-in-a-decade US Open, the TAMC is experimenting with allowing “free-flowing” right hand turns from CV Rd. unto Highway One, north. This “experiment” may continue for some time, up to a couple years, until a second lane is added between Rio Rd and Carmel Valley Rd.

While Carmel Valley residents are pleased with this idea, those who live (and work) in Big Sur or the Carmel Highlands, are not. Many of us remember the back-ups on Highway One going into town, that sometimes snaked all the way past Point Lobos, and through the Highlands. Big Sur’s concerns are primarily two-fold: One, is the delay in response times for emergency vehicles; the second is discouraging traffic down the coast, given the nightmare that can be the return trip.

One can read the full article from The Herald here.

You can express your views in several ways, one of which is writing the following people:
55B Plaza Circle
Salinas, CA 93901-2902

and copy Dave Potter, our County Supervisor
Monterey Courthouse
1200 Aguajito Rd., Ste. 1
Monterey, CA 93940

Call TAMC at 775-0903
Call Candace Ingram at 373-3609 – she really wants to hear from us

There is a public meeting this Monday:
Carmel Valley Road Committee scheduled for Monday, June 14th 11-12:30. I think that meeting will be held at one of the Hacienda Carmel meeting rooms, but a call to TAMC can confirm the exact location.

Also, the “Question of the Day” on The Herald front page (at the bottom on the left) is about this plan. Do take the poll, as the “powers that be” do pay attention to these online newspaper polls. Find it here-Herald online poll Currently the poll is showing 20 to 14 in favor of allowing the “free” right hand turn, so vote, if it matters!