Garrapatos Vegetation Fire

11:00 pm – this report just in around an hour ago from Bette Nelson. The house that burned was the Long House. It was occupied by the homeowner, Susie Barnett, and her renter Jeff and his 3 dogs at the time of the fire. Bette is reporting that the latest she heard was that it was probably started by a downed power line, not a transformer.

Also see the comment posted at 11 pm by Scott Bogen below, who is a volunteer Mid-Coast Fire Brigade member, who has first-hand knowledge of this fire and tells what he knows. Thanks Bette and Scott for bringing us all up-to-date.

Our prayers go out to Susie and Jeff and hope they can find interim housing and that Susie can rebuild.

4:30 pm – report is that the fire is out. One hour and 15 minutes – great job Mid-Coast Fire Brigade and Cal Fire!! Congratulations on a good save. I am very sorry for the family that lost their home, however. It was reported to me that it was from a transformer that landed on their porch. I certainly hope PG&E will be helping them rebuild!

4:00 – reports that a propane tank exploded, and that Mid-Coast and/or Cal-Fire are asking the CHP to assist in road closures. Unclear which roads at this time. Vegetation is reported at approximately 1/2 acre.

3:40: UPDATE: IT IS GARRAPATOS. See this comment:
Kate, The fire is in a house above us at the end of Garrapatos Rd off of Palo Colorado. They think it was from a downed transformer. Midcoast fire & Cal fire are on site. We can see the flames & smoke from our house which down in the canyon near the creek.
Bette Nelson.

Also reported structure fully engulfed and a second structure threatened.

3:18 pm – Structure involved. No further details. This is a call-out on the CB, so I have not confirmed information, yet.

If this is the real McCoy, winds will play a major role, as it is howling in Big Sur proper, as well as up here.

Catching up is hard to do, and I have announcements, reports, photos, up the whazzo to post.

12 thoughts on “Garrapatos Vegetation Fire

  1. Kate, The fire is in a house above us at the end of Garrapatos Rd off of Palo Colorado. They think it was from a downed transformer. Midcoast fire & Cal fire are on site. We can see the flames & smoke from our house which down in the canyon near the creek.
    Bette Nelson

  2. Hi Kate,
    I live up on Garrapata Ridge Rd and see no evidence of fire, but, the wind would be blowing the smoke and the fire away from us today. Please keep me notified of any changes. Is there a way to monitor our scanners here in Big Sur online? I am going to be going outside and taking a walk up to the Mudd Ranch back gate here on Garrapata ridge.

    Robbie Gascoyne

  3. Mid Coast Fire said it was Joanne Fletcher’s house, which is up the hill from Bette Nelson’s and directly above a house historically known as the long house.

  4. I heard the highway was closed at Palo Colorado because of the fire, but Rocky Creek restaurant says it’s open again.

  5. Joanne Fletcher’s????? NO!! Hope not. Please give updates as to specifically which place it was, when possible. I lived up there several years…in the long house and above. Please let me know what’s happened.

  6. Tzila, if I get any further information, I will clarify, but at this point, it looks as if it was Joanne Fletcher’s house, and it was a total loss, I understand. Whoever’s house it was, it was fully engulfed, so I doubt much was saved.

  7. KSBY reported this: “A fire at Palo Colorado and Garrapata Rd. along the Big Sur Coast is spreading after already burning nearly twenty acres and destroying one building.” That is not consistent with the 1/2 acre I heard, and based on where it was reported, a 20 acre fire would have probably taken out more than one home. I do not think that is accurate, but then, maybe they know something I don’t.

  8. Joanne Fletcher’s house is fine. The house that burned was known locally as the “Long House.” Cause of the fire is yet to be determined, though downed power line from pole to house seems be likely.

    I am a fire fighter with Mid-Coast and live across the canyon from where the fire was (though this information is from me personally and not as representative of Mid-Coast). I reported the fire to 911, after noticing what looked like fog, but didn’t make sense as fog, so a ran to overlook and saw that it was indeed a vegetation fire (whitish blue smoke). The fire started off as a vegetation fire, between the time I came in and called 911 and then Cal-Fire command and went back to respond to the fire, the smoke had started to turn black, indicating that it was now a structure fire. We were first on scene and house was already fully engulfed. Very painful experience. My heart goes out to the owner and her tenant.

    The vegetation fire was under one acre. It is has been fully contained and Mid-Coast is still doing mop up, we will be there all night. I will go back early in the morning. The house is still smoldering and is being mopped up as well.

    It is hard to say we got lucky when two very kind people are homeless tonight, but we had .14 inches of rain this morning. Perhaps just enough to moisten things up so that this fire did not rip right up the canyon. We had very strong maintained winds with gusts that would change direction. Green vegetation was burning.

    A big thank you to Big Sur Fire Brigade for sending an engine for mutual assistance, it really helped. As well as Cal-Fire. The fire was contained quickly and did not spread to other near by structures.

  9. We are so sorry to hear of this, prayers going out to everyone for fast containment and help for those affected. Jane and Tim, Capitola area

  10. I am so sorry for the current owners of the Long House. I lived there several times in the 60s, when Don Lewis owned it and then when Ginny Dowis owned it. I am still in touch with Ginny, and will inform her. It was a historic house, made of “adobe” bricks from the land there. I used to know who built it, but can’t remember. It was an amazing unique place.

    I am very glad that the owners are safe and the fire did not spread. There are a few houses right there that any spread could have taken.

    Thank you Kate for having this information here. I miss ‘my’ Big Sur, and knowing what’s going on there is a good thing.

    Thanks Scott for the update.

  11. I am so sorry to read this story, my heart goes out to family and the community. Thank you for keeping us informed.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.