Smoke this morning

This morning, the fog is high and thick. I am above it which gives me the view. There is smoke on the north side of Cone Peak. I have called PV Station and notified them. I also called FHL to make sure they do not have a controlled burn going on. Nothing is reporting anywhere, yet, as I might be the reporting party. I cant tell exactly where it is, could be Arroyo Seco, could be any of those little campsites back there. Or maybe it is drifting down from another fire? FHL Fire thought it could be from Lake Havasu? i dont know. Funny, my son just sent me a bunch of maps of the area, as he was planning to hike it over the next few days. Will be keeping an eye on it this morning.

Could it be this? Smoke from an OR wildfire hit San Bruno last night. Are we seeing drift from that?

07/29/2013 09:33 LPF-2334 (New) Smoke Check CONE PK LO M . E16LPF 4X4 PAT17ALPF . . .

I have a couple of photos I’ll try to upload.


Another Lost Lab

This little gal is NOT the lab found at Hurricane Point and turned in to the SPCA. That dog was male. This dog is female.


From the owner: “I am reaching out to you, since we have had our family dog, Candy Cane, taken from our home in Monterey last Sunday and likely dropped in the Big Sur area. Without going through all the details, I will clarify that the individual did admit to police that he did take our dog.
He also admitted to taken our dog last summer, due to barking. (We had suspicion, but did not know) We canvassed the montery area, day/night, hired a search dog, and did all the vet/pet store/rescue location notifications. Yet after a little over a week, our dog was actually located (dropped) in Carmel Highlands with her collar removed. We were happily reunited with her last summer.
The culprit has continued to inform police, he again dropped her in Carmel Highlands this time, but we have had tips it was Big Sur. We have thoroughly covered carmel highlands, but need to reach out to as many Big Sur residents as possible. We have posted some signs in the area.

3yr old Female Labrador
White/with some tan marking
Small stature than avg. lab
Name: Candy Cane
She is microchipped, but likely without her ID collar

Any help you would provide, would be truly appreciated. We our remaining hopeful we will find her.

Melissa Dalton

Overnight closure for tonight canceled, tomorrow’s still set.

** UPDATE #40-A **


Also, thanks to the efforts of Ken Wright, a new procedure is in place for weekends. Dan (the project engineer) plans to have three flaggers on-site every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM until the end of the summer. The flaggers have been instructed to allow the signals to control the traffic as much as possible and provide flagging when the traffic volumes get too high or if the signals malfunction. This strategy is mainly in consideration for worker safety; the less they are exposed to live traffic the safer the situation. The flaggers are employees of the contractor, Golden State Bridge Inc., and the cost is about $8000 per weekend. The money comes from the project’s contingency balance and was authorized by contract modification.


Los Padres National Forest Elevates Fire Restrictions

GOLETA, CA…Due to extremely dry vegetation and an increasing fire danger, Los Padres National Forest officials today announced that Level IV fire restrictions will go into effect beginning today, July 23, 2013. The following restrictions will be rigorously enforced until the end of the declared fire season:

Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest including designated Campfire Use sites; however persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel within the designated Campfire Use Sites only. California Campfire Permits are available for free download from the Los Padres National Forest website ( You must clear all flammable material for a distance of five feet in all directions from your camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times when it is in use.

Recreational target shooting is prohibited in all areas of the National Forest unless specifically authorized by a special use permit with the Forest; however, hunting with a valid State of California hunting license during open hunting season is exempt from this restriction.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the national forest except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated Campfire Use Site.

Fireworks are prohibited at all times and in all locations within Los Padres National Forest.

Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order on roads and trails specifically designated for such use. (This restriction is in effect year-round.)

For further information regarding current conditions and safety tips, contact your nearest Forest Service office or visit the Los Padres National Forest website at

Weather, 7/23/13

I haven’t been able to get the current radar report, but I watched rain to the north of me just after dawn. Can’t tell if it reached the ground, though. No thunder, which is good, so no dry lightning. If I ever do get the current radar pic, I’ll post it. Otherwise, enjoy this muggy, tropical day, and if you are getting or did get rain where you are, let us know.

Rocky Creek Closures this week

Highway 1/Rocky Creek Viaduct Project: July 22 – July 26

Daytime roadwork on Highway 1 continues next week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 22 through Friday, July 26.

There will be A FULL OVERNIGHT CLOSURE of Hwy. 1 on Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25 from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

No overnight closures will occur on Friday/Saturday nights

Here are some Cal Trans photos of the work



Tassajara Fire & weather

As most of you know, the Tassajara Fire is pretty much over. Yesterday, it was 217 acres and 90% contained, the last 10% has been inaccessible.

We have a monsoonal flow coming in from the south. Slight chance of rain and lightning, but very slight, NWS says for our area. Any lightning anticipated here or over the Sierras is expected to be “Wet” not dry. Winds last night were strong enough to displace my sun umbrella. Guess I’ll fold it up and put it away for the day.

From my perspective up here this am, light, fluffy clouds to the north of me, and dark, almost ominous, skies to the south.

Oh, and I could not get any photos of the rock shed Saturday to post here. It was socked in with fog on the coast.

BSK unplugged

I had an unexpected break for the last 24-36 hours: bigsurkate was completely unplugged … No email, no Internet, no TV – only my views from here on top. Nothing of any significance going on in the Tassajara Fire was visible, and nothing visible anywhere else for 50 miles or so, or I would have been on the horn with my co-administrator. When I finally got her email response to one I had sent blind, she let me know she is available, in case this happens again, and we need to get info out.

The Tassajara fire has grown very little and is now 15% contained. Much of the fuel that would have been feeding this fire was consumed in the Basin Complex Fire of 2008. So, despite temperatures, accessibility problems, and creek and wilderness issues, this is probably one of those “good” burns. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Life in the Wilds of Big Sur … What can I say?

I felt completely at odds for much of this time, but eventually, I surrendered to the goddess, and did other things today. tonight I can catch up on the 100 emails, the sites i visit each day for news and-information and all that jazz.

Tomorrow I have been invited to the Hermitage for a blessing Mass for the new prior, and then I might check out the new menu at Lucia. I will use this opportunity to get shots of the rock shed and bring you up-to-date on this incredible project. Hopefully, Sunday.

I did use some of today to organize some of my 4000 photos on my iPad …so when fire season is over, I’ll share some of my favorites. Enjoy your weekend.

Firescape Workshop



What: FireScape Monterey Workshop #8: Strategies and Getting to Action
Where: Santa Lucia Preserve (Directions Provided on Page 2)
When: July 26 & 27, 2013
RSVP: Please RSVP by July 22, 2013 by sending an e-mail to

July 26 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Meeting at Event Barn)
1. Welcome by the Preserve
2. Presentation of Strategies, Getting to Action
3. Breakout Session
4. Lunch – Please bring $5.00 for Pizza & Drink
5. Group Discussion led by US Forest Service
a. What happens after wildfire starts?
b. Community Fuelbreak Improvement Project status
6. Closing

July 27th Field Trip – 9:00 a.m. (sharp!) – 12:30 p.m. (Meet at Parking Lot to Carpool)
Please bring water & snack for the field trip
1. Sudden Oak Death & shaded fuel breaks
2. Conservation cattle grazing, prescribed fire & weed management
3. Defensible space around residential structures
4. Roadside fuel management through chaparral

Directions to Event Barn for July 26th
• From Highway 1 in Carmel, drive east on Carmel Valley Road for 2.0 miles to the stoplight at Rancho San Carlos Road.
• At the stoplight, turn right and drive south on Rancho San Carlos Road for about 1.0 mile to the Santa Lucia Preserve gatehouse.
• At the Santa Lucia Preserve gatehouse, tell the gate attendant that you are attending the FireScape Workshop at the “Event Barn”.
• The gatehouse attendant will direct you to proceed about 8.5 miles up Rancho San Carlos Road, where the road will enter a small cluster of buildings.
• Among the cluster of buildings, between the second and third speed bump, there is a large wooden barn on the left side of the road, the Event Barn.
• Turn left immediately after passing the Event Barn, and park in the gravel lot on the north or northeast side of the barn. The main entrance is on the north side.

Directions to Parking Lot for July 27th
• From Highway 1 in Carmel, drive east on Carmel Valley Road for 2.0 miles to the stoplight at Rancho San Carlos Road.
• At the stoplight, turn right and drive south on Rancho San Carlos Road for about 1.0 mile to the Santa Lucia Preserve gatehouse.
• At the Santa Lucia Preserve gatehouse, tell the gate attendant that you are attending the FireScape Workshop at the “Event Barn”.
• The gatehouse attendant will direct you to proceed through the gate, then take an immediate left turn onto Chamisal Pass road.
• About 100 yards up that road, meet the rest of the tour participants in a small gravel parking lot on the right side of the road.
• Tour participants will be asked to carpool, and any vehicles that are not used in the tour can be parked in the back side of the gravel lot.