Evacuation Watch & IC Info from USFS

Final evening update at 9:30 pm – no update on size or containment, but we do know that there are now 625 firefighters and support personnel on the fire. We also know that despite her personal loss, our Fire Chief, Martha Karstens, is still leading our amazing BSVFB, along with the USFS and Cal Fire teams in battling this blaze. I am calling it a night and will be back with the dawn. Meanwhile, keep our community in your thoughts, and consider a donation to our BSVFB.

Incident Information
Monterey Ranger District
Los Padres National Forest

December 16, 2013
5:00 PM

The Pfeiffer Fire started after midnight on December 16th in the Pfeiffer Ridge area just west of Big Sur, CA . The size of the fire is approximately 500 acres and is 0% contained.

Crews are actively working to protect homes in the area. There has been multiple structures consumed and or damaged by the fire, but it is still too early to do an accurate assessment.

An evacuation of the Pfeiffer Ridge area is in effect. The evacuation area is from Sycamore Canyon Road on the south to Clear Ridge on the north; Highway 1 on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

The Red Cross has established an evacuation center at the Big Sur Grange. NOTE:THIS WAS CHANGED THIS EVENING AROUND 8:00 PM – “Kate and Kirk, If you have not already heard from the Red Cross, I am told they are closing the evacuation center at the Grange tonight and will reopen at Fernwood Resort at 10 am Tuesday to serve evacuees. Not a shelter set up, but an evacuation center with services for folks.”

Road closures in effect are as follows:
Clear Ridge Road
Pfeiffer RidgeRoad
Sycamore Canyon Road
Road from the River Inn to Pfeiffer Ridge Road.


The fire remains active making runs, with some spotting. Early today, resources reached 200 personnel assigned with additional resources responding all day.

Central Coast Interagency Incident Command Team will be transitioning on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM. To assume management of the fire. The Incident Commander of the Type II team is Mark Nunez.

A community meeting is tentatively planned for Tuesday afternoon at the Multi Agency Facility. More information to follow.

Please share widely:

The Pfeiffer Fire Incident Command has requested an emergency notification for Big Sur residents in the Pious Ridge and Sycamore Canyon areas. This is the text of the alert that went out at 5:30pm:

This is the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services with an Evacuation Watch due to the Pfeiffer Fire.
There is a threat to life and property in the Sycamore Canyon and Pious Ridge areas. If you choose to evacuate, thre is a Red cross shelter at the Big Sur Grange.

An evacuation watch means that emergency crews recommend people evacuate for their safety. The next level would be an evacuation warning, which is more serious and means emergency crews want residents to evacuate right away.

Maia Carroll

Pfeiffer Fire Photos


The above photo is also by Jeff Mallory. The photo credits on the ones below are FUBAR. Nighttime ones are by Jeff Mallory, daytime, by Howard Jones, except the top four by Stan, and the one by Jeff of the helicopter and Cal Fire truck. And then there is the one of MK’s house, if I ever get it up! Sorry, it has been crazy today!

These four photos are by Stan Russel, Big Sur Chamber of Commerce.


This photo is by Jeff Mallory taken by his front gate.

The following are by Howard Jones.
The following are from Jeff Mallory from early this am.


Fire on Pfeiffer Ridge

4:00 pm – Hi Kate – just a couple of things from this end to share with folks –

Can we encourage folks to sign up for public safety notifications AlertMontereyCounty – this is the system that people can get emergency notifications via cell phone (like reverse 9-1-1). When the emergency notice went out overnight to folks in the fire area, we noted that only 125 people where signed up for that area, and there are likely more would want it. Here is the link


Also – Red Cross and SPCA want to make sure evacuees know that the shelter is up and running at the Grange, folks who evacuated can get meals, services there – pets welcome and will be housed by SPCA on site.

CalFire folks say smoke this afternoon did prevent the air tankers from dropping retardent in the most active areas of the fire but helicopters were still able to do water drops.

Maia Carroll (MoCo Communications)

For spot weather reports on the fire area, see here:

2:00 pm – (Kate) Cal Fire reports 500 acres, 15homes lost. Reader/observer reports it jumped the road on lower Pfeiffer Ridge and is heading west. Cal Fire working on strategy. Both Debbie and I are working on moderating all new comments, but some seem to be speculation about who’s house has burned, and unless confirmed, we are not approving those. Lots to keep up with. Do have photos, and will try to post what I can when I can.

8:30 am – (Kate) I am monitoring the situation, and it is not good. I am having serious Internet difficulties, but will keep trying. Comments by people who have never commented before must be approved, which I am trying to do, and there are a lot of them. Debbie is in the thick of things, so can’t help much. If you have commented before, please keep us all posted, but not at peril to yourself!

I was woken up at 3:00 to news there is a fire on Pfeiffer Ridge.  Outside my house I can smell the smoke and see a fire glow.  Tried to get ahold of Kate which will be your best resource.  Just a heads up for all.  Getting ready to head into work to see if they need our heavy equipment.  No doubt Teyve is already on it.  Prays to our neighbors.