Controlled burn on Ft. H-L escapes

11:00 pm – per WLF: “This was a control burn that escaped. There was a S/T 9340C from SLU training when it occured.

As of 2030hrs, fire was reported at 50 Acres and 40% contained.

Correct spelling for this incident is Los Bueyes.”

9:30 pm – as of this time, these are the resources assigned to this fire: LPF resources Assigned to this fire are
BC-11, 12
Eng: 16, 19, 31, 35, 37
Crew 3 Arroyo Grande IHC, 4 Los Padres IHC
Heli-527, 528, 530
PT-19, 38

These are LPF resources only. Not Ft. H-L or Cal-Fire, which are both also on scene. What this tells me, and this is just intelligent guess work on my part, is that this fire is in or moving toward the LPNF. Based on the smoke drift shot I posted earlier, I would venture to speculate that the fire is moving in a westwardly direction. This one is going to bear watching over the next few days.

7:45 pm – Boillos Fire smoke drift from my front door. This is shot facing south, and Ft. Hunter-Liggett is to the left, or east in this photo.

6:45 pm – took a quick trip out back to South Coast Ridge Rd. and in the short amount of time I was gone, the visible smoke from my place markedly increased. The photo I am posting was before the increase in smoke. BTW, all of that grey dark stuff is smoke. It is clear blue skies in all the other directions.

5:30 – two more helios assigned, bring it up to 4 AA and 4 Hs.

4:45 pm – two more AA sent. This is the approximate location on base:

And here is a zoomed out version. The blue push pin is my location, about 6 miles due west of the fire.

3:45 pm – Controlled burn on Ft. Hunter-Liggett started at 10 am this morning appears to have escaped around 2:15 pm, per LPF WildCAD. I have been hearing and seeing planes overhead about an hour or two ago, about the time that LPF WildCAD reports the incident as Los Boillos Wildfire. Trying to get more information as to size and direction. I can see a lot of smoke from here, but no column. I may have to go out back to look. wildlandfire is reporting: “Aircraft in route from Paso.
75 acres in heavy brush.
Eratic fire behavior”

There are two AA tankers on scene and a helo. Neither LPNF office in King City nor the Ft. H-L PIO know anything at this time. Ft. H-L PIO is investigating and getting back to me with direction and ROS.

PIO for Ft. H-L called back and informed me it is still quite a ways away from me, but had no size or ROS or direction of spread to share. It is in training area 19.

So far, this year, these fires are being attacked early and agressively, and it may be out before I go to bed. Hoping, anyway.

I just investigated a wildfire a couple miles south of Gorda, but that one has been controlled.

10 thoughts on “Controlled burn on Ft. H-L escapes

  1. The CalFire spotter plane and the tankers have been overhead for some hours now. We live directly under the designated flight path from the Paso Robles airport (home of CalFire) and Big Sur, Hunter Liggett.
    When I hear the planes, which have a distinctive sound, I check your website. It’s the only way I have of knowing what is going on.

  2. Thanks for the quick news on this Kate. Nasty country as we know. Indians Fire began the same way.

  3. Thanks, Cal! I was an hour or two behind the 8-ball on this one, even though I saw the smoke. Ft Hunter-Liggitt does control burns all the time, so I needed to confirm before I posted.

    Mike, yes, this is incredibly rugged territory, and, of course, it is running uphill. Let’s hope they get a handle on this tonight, after the winds dissipate. I will continue to report until it is under control, using all the resources I can muster.

  4. FHL wisely does controlled burns preceding larger intensive life-fire exercises. I have been on-base a number of times trying to learn about and subtlety influence (sure!) their operations. FHL does many things right, especially considering its mission.
    I wonder if, early in the fire season, CalFire (CDF) sometimes reacts aggressively in order to vet new crews, re-cert the folks from last year, etc. That’s all right with me.

  5. Kate,

    Are you sure that this was an escaped control burn? I’m wondering if it was just a fire that escaped the impact area?

    Just because it was posted on doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Usually FHL has completed their yearly burns well before this time. That’s why I’m asking.

    Take care,

  6. Rambling Chief: I spoke to the Ft. H-L PIO, Sgt. Jones, and he did not dispute my classification of it as an “escaped” control burn, neither did a retired FT. H-L ff who called his old station, nor did the District Ranger, Sherry Tune of the Monterey District of the LPNF. However, I admit, that “escaped the impact area” and “escaped control burn” could easily be confused by all but those original ff on the ground.

    My experience over 16 years of watching, has demonstrated that the Ft. does control burns into July in the past, as the USFS has a controlled burn scheduled for this month at the Brazil Ranch. August, no, I agree. I’ve never seen one that late.

    I’d be more than happy to have to correct my report, if I am incorrect. If someone in authority at Ft. H-L would like to call me in the am at 831-818-8026, I will gladly correct my story!

  7. Thanks Kate,

    Like always, I view your site with interest and concern having fought many fires in the area. Nothing in the media yet or any press releases from FHL, LPF, or BEU even though it seems to be a significant fire.

    Take care,


  8. Kate,

    Not sure why an SLU strike team (9340-C) would be doing training in the middle of FHL outside of the period that FHL holds “fire school”.

    FHL sits inside the San Benito-Monterey Unit of CAL FIRE and not within SLU.

    @fireblogger ( says, “This is an eerie reminder of the beginning of the Indians Fire that started in the same general vicinity, in the same manner.”

    I’d love to hear the story behind ‘the same manner’ if it’s true. I’m not sure all the info is correct on

    Take care,


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