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.

93 thoughts on “Fire on Pfeiffer Ridge

  1. USFS just requested CACHAGUA FIRE Company 77 as part of an immediate need strike team to the fire…this is a type 3 ST..with other local government agencies on the peninsula also being paged out on this request as part of the IA

  2. Just got back from Pheiffer Ridge Road. This is really devastating. The entire Ridge is either burned or will be soon, from Martha’s all the way to Emile’s, down to Lower Pfeiffer and encroaching into Front Hill. Supposedly we will see some Air Attack at sunrise. If this doesn’t get hit hard and repeatedly, the fire will blow into and over Clear Ridge.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you all down there in Big Sur in dealing with the Pfeiffer Ridge fire. Please keep the rest of us not in close proximity posted as we will be concerned for you all.

  4. Fire started around midnight, over 200 acres by some reports, 2 strike teams have responded. Pfeiffer Ridge Clear Ridge, some evacuations.

  5. Trying to find out if my brother Paul is ok or the condition of his house. He is next to Debra Meadows. Anyone with info please post here.

  6. Just hoping we start to hear some planes and helicopters. Any time now would be good 🙁

  7. Not good, frightening to read. Solace in the fabulously alert community knowing what to do fast and best. Let us know if help is needed from the outer-landers and what we can do. God bless Big Sur.

  8. I am having trouble with my Internet, probably due to the wind. Debbie is in the thick of things, so will probably have trouble keeping us updated. Jeff, I will go to FB to try ands get the photos. Hoping Internet straightens out, soon.

  9. It has been raining down here in the Sea of Cortez and the Sonoran desert so I thought Big Sur was safe, I feel so helpless. Someone tell Tev he can use our dozer if he needs it. I hope Apple Pie is helping if needed….Good luck all….Micah

  10. I just woke up and felt uneasy about home to discover this on the internet.
    I’m currently teaching in Kunming,China but my attention will be in Big Sur . I appreciate the possibity of tracking what’s happening through this site. Thanks, Benj Langdon
    I’m with you in spirit! Love

  11. Much of Clear Ridge including many houses burned (number stated sounded high so I won’t repeat it) according to Martin Palofax…Air support is showing up now. Flames shooting up from Buzzards Roost antenna site. Fire started at “Camp B”. I heard info second hand.

  12. Please stay safe.

    Fire officials say at least 300 acres have burned, and as least two structure were damaged in the blaze. Evacuations are in progress, with residents evacuating to the north, toward the Carmel area until an evacuation center is set up.

    About 130 firefighters were either on scene or responding to the fire, including 13 engines, 6 crews and 1 bulldozer. Fire officials say copters and tankers will be up overhead by about 8am to battle the flames from the air.

  13. Just went home and yanked pictures off my wall and grabbed the dog. Starting to hear air attack forces. God bless. Not sure how much help I will be today.

  14. 08:40 Kate it is hard to be accurate with all the info, I will generalize…The wildlandfire sight has had the size at 200 acres for hours with no updates. The new on TV is next to worthless @ 100 acres. Facebook reports are saying that Pfeiffer Ridge is completely involved, Sycamore Canyon reports fire threats. Loss of many structures is probable. Air support has begun, very smoky. We will have to wait for anything official.

  15. Praying for all on Pfeiffer. If everyone is safe it’s all that matters. Houses can be replaced. CVA, Morganraths, Sanfords, you are in my heart. If anyone has news of them, please post.

  16. I am living in Maine now, and aching at the news of this, having received photos on FB from friends for whom the fire was approaching their doorstep at 6:00am, and not having heard from them since. See the FB page of Jeff Mallory for three photos showing the progression of the fire closer to them.

  17. 09:17 From WildBigSur email

    A vegetation fire started near midnight Sunday night/Monday morning has already claimed a few structures of Pfeiffer Ridge and is reportedly heading for more.

    Cal FIRE, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Los Padres National Forest fire team and other agencies are already scrambling to respond to the latest disaster to strike the South Coast, during the driest California year in recorded history.

    More than 125 acres had burned by sunrise, drawing more than 130 firefighters.

    Residents are evacuating. No injuries have been reported.

    Weekly contributor Gabe Skvor, reporting from just south of the blaze, adds Fernwood was open overnight furnishing coffee for evacuees as long as they were safe there.

    The Big Sur Grange is serving as the main shelter at the moment.

    Weekly sales executive and Big Sur native Chelsea Davey, currently joining her family in moving everything they can from her grandmother’s Sycamore Canyon home, added this just before dawn:

    “The fire is massive. Most Big Sur businesses are open as shelters and families are stationed at each one.”

    “We are actively moving everything we can from the house. My uncle will start to cut trees as soon as day breaks. So far there is no air support.”

    “Going back down the canyon now for another load from the house. I have all the family photos and some heirloom pieces but there’s still time for one more trip before Sycamore Canyon gets cut off.”

  18. Prayers for all involved and for beautiful Big Sur.. Clear Ridge is one of my old stomping grounds.. and one of the most beauitful places on earth. Please stay safe everyone.

  19. 9:23am: I’m on the Peninsula and ready to help. Just let me know what I can do. I just called the Carmel Red Cross and shared what I’m hearing from this blog and folks on site. Red Cross said they don’t go into action until they get an official call (i.e. a fire agency). If it looks like like the assistance needed is exceeding the grange and neighborly assistance, someone official should probably call the Red Cross to open up their Basin Complex playbook.

  20. It would be very helpful if when you mention someone’s name or house, could you please note their address so we can track the fire’s progress?

  21. So SORRY to read about this and so grateful for your coverage. Our hearts, our prayers are with you all!!

  22. 10:30: 20 homes gone, 500 acres burned. Spread expected to Sycamore Canyon within next 15 minutes. (This is a report I got from Shiry Escobar who is currently safe at Blaze.)

  23. Anne Ashley & John Alvord/lower Pfeiffer dirt road/tower house

    First, everyone who breathes is FINE in our family: us & cats!

    HOwever, About 1:30 am our (paying) guest house guests were apparently watching the moon and stars through the skylights. They noticed they disappeared and there seemed to be a red glow. they went outside, saw the red of the fire and heavy heavy smoke over the hill and WOKE US UP!

    there is a major fire on pfeiffer ridge!

    We got guests packed up and went out through clearridge rd to the north. For us we took our 3 cats and 2 computers (Home and ibm) and are now up in Carmel until we know more

    It looked awful… guessing our home is gone along with others… hard news almost doesn’t exist so thanks to BigSurKate AGAIN!

    Phone here is 831-620-0994 if anyone needs us or can tell us if our home burned. If you know or see Penny Vieregge please tell her we are ok.. she is dear dear family for us

    not sure whats next… depends on if there is a house still there… the status of fire etc etc etc

    hope no lives and little property lost but our area hasn’t burned in years and is hard for them to access

    if it comes to the worst… or even if not our (dreaded by some in big sur) short term renters probably saved out lives as we ere dead asleep and when we woke it was very smoke filled/terrifying!

    we’ll send updates but know we are ok… may have lost big sur house and most of our furniture in fire but they are only things and we have insurance… or maybe they will get the fire under control and we’ll be ok… only time will tell

    we feel lucky to be alive, together and have our kitties (finding them was almost impossible… I think the smoke freaked them out and and they wouldn’t come to us). But we prevailed and they are UNHAPPY but surrounded by us and a few of their and our things so it will work out

    love and best wishes to everyone! John & Anne

  24. I am wanting to get in touch w Peggy Goodale. Long time Pfeiffer Ridge resident. Prayers going out for all folks in harms way. Peggy. If you happen to see this Please call me!

  25. Just left big sur a few days ago and when I received the first messages about the fire I wish I would be there to help.
    Hang in there Big Sur.
    Love and support to all of you.

  26. To our dear friends. Thank you for your all loving thoughts for us here at this time. We’ll let you know anything as we hear it. Just keep us in your thoughts. Thank you.

  27. Debbie, we will
    I will be back in Big Sur soon, please dont hesistate to call me at 8315218278 for what ever is needed, we will rebuild and we will be stronger together .

  28. Sending positive thoughts and strength to all those in Big Sur… our heart goes out to you. This is devastating!

  29. Suzanne McQueen in Ashland here. Needing info on Scott and Linda’s place in Sycamore Cyn. I spoke with him early this morning and he was going to defend, Linda evacuated their stuff, but Natalie’s post on FB looks grim. Christian lost his place and her childhood home. Christian was with Scott when I called. Needing to know whether the fire is heading up to Rancho Rico and also over the ridge and down to Big Sur Campgrounds. I’m trying to relay info. Please post here if you know anything, or tweet #BigSurFire or call me at 541.292.9004. Thanks and love to all. So sorry for all of the losses. xoxo

  30. Seems like Tevye is in the thick of things…. does anyone know about the rest of the Morgenrath clan? Particularly Helen?

  31. NOTE TO SUZANNE MCQUEEN- there were photos posted from Rancho Rico this morning and at that time the fire looked pretty far away but there has been no new information as of 5:00. Only that the fire is 0% contained.

  32. George Samuel and Kristina havw a couple spare beds for evacuees in Santa Cruz.

  33. Sending out love and blessings…Just to let the community know, Penny V. is staying with us at the farmhouse at Esalen. The ph. # is 667-3026. We visited her place round 3am, then read updates about Chelsea, Anna, and Josh…she is fine, I’m just trying to keep her from going out and fighting the fire. Please all, be safe.

  34. If anyone sees christian please let him know Laila and I send our love, and to contact us. we just spent two days with him at his home. We cannot believe this has happen and our love and thoughts go out to all.
    Bob and Laila

  35. This is very, very tragic and sad; I was just at Christian’s home this past Thursday and it is a tremendous loss. I feel very helpless as this is one of my best friends. I am also sad for Natalie and her sister losing their childhood home. Please, if you see them, give them my love. *And God Bless all of you who have lost your homes and are in pain. You are all in my constant prayers.

  36. my prayers, thoughts, and my heart is with you all……be safe… can rebuild if you want……

  37. latest update: 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.

  38. Dana Goforth has offered her house to anyone who needs a place. She lives in Bixby Canyon. If you need to get ahold of her please message me on my facebook page

  39. Untrue… no fire on Rancho Rico… fire at buzzards roost… no cross over

  40. I have a direct contact at Rancho Rico… please be very careful and check sources

  41. Suzanne McQueen here in Ashland. Just talked to Wade, his girlfriend, Holly, and my daughter Myan who drove down and are up on Rancho Rico looking at the fire. They don’t think it is coming that way yet but say the scene is unbelievable from RR looking at PR and SC. A sea of fires everywhere. Torre and Blake are getting sleep/rest on RR. Wade, Holly, and Myan heading to BS Campground to sleep. Just thought I’d pass on my update in case it matters later. Thank you SO much for getting messages to me. Melissa, Linda Parker’s sister called me as you noted on this thread. Relieved that family hasn’t had more devastation in addition to Christian’s. You’re all in my heart.

  42. I am also wondering how Helen Morgenrath and others are doing. I cried when I saw the photo of Clovis and Grady. What stress everyone is feeling! It would be nice to know who has last their home, just so we know who is most in need and who to pray for.

  43. Gosh , I sure wish someone would set up a 24-7 web cam on Dani Ridge , or Pfeiffer Point ,,,,, and what about a cam on the choppers for real time video ?

  44. Helen is okay. She went to Glen Oaks to avoid the smoke. Her kids used the water in her pool to defend her house. Don’t know if it is still standing though. We know the Sandborn’s lost theirs.

  45. Helen is fine and her house is fine… Aengus and a few others saved that house and Clovis and Grady’s, among others

  46. As a former residnt of the ridge, I am so sorry to see what we all feared finally happened. Christian, Ray, Celia, and whoever else lost everything, I am so sorry.

  47. Thank you so much for the update on Helen. I haven’t seen her in a few years, but our Buddhist community held many a retreat at her house and we are very concerned.

  48. Would appreciate any news about Clear Ridge. From what I can tell the fire has not gotten there. So sorry for all those who have lost their beloved homes, so beautifully built and taken care of.

  49. Good morning to all & keep safe please. This is Robert from the big glass house on top of the hill- does anyone know if the fire took my house? Thanks to all for the updates.

  50. I’m wondering about Pias Ridge and Rancho Rico this morning. All was fine last night. Please report if you know anything. My daughter and her dad, Wade McQueen, and his girlfriend, Holly, are all there but I haven’t heard from them this morning yet. I’ll let you know if I hear from them and get any first hand news of Rancho Rico.
    Suzanne McQueen, Ashland, OR

  51. Reports in the media are pathetic. They keep including all the same stuff about dry year, and the 2008 fire, just to fill up the page. One report this morning said there were 550 acres burned so far as of Wednesday Morning! But it’s only Tuesday, last time I checked! Do these people actually get paid to write this stuff! So thank you, to those who post here, and I am following a couple of facebook pages of people in the area also, so if something significant pops up I will pass it on, but It’s hard to verify anything, so excuse any mis statements I might make here. I too am waiting for some first hand reports from RR.

  52. Rancho Rico and Pius Ranch are safe and okay at 9:45 this morning… I have regular updates from there coming in, if you want to join me on facebook at toby ornotoby

  53. Is there a clothing freebox set up so that those without wardrobe can meet those needs? We are prepared to get neighbors in Palo Colorado to do some early spring cleaning. Call Lloyd 624-2579

  54. I heard from Avtonom and family, all are ok. The fire did not reach Barklee’s or Mary’s. Big sigh of relief. Thanks for all of your good thoughts. I hope everyone else is ok out there, keep me posted.
    This was posted on Jamie Collins fb page.

  55. Man oh man, I feel for you guys! My heartfelt best wishes are with you, and that the Red Cross and others will provide as much help as possible.

  56. Thank you for all the updates. Our hearts and thoughts go out to our community and friends.

  57. as of 5:30 PM local news has now reported 22 structures burned and the fire is 20% contained

  58. The beautiful, magical Big Sur land is in flames today. Our support and prayers go out to our loved ones in the area. We have a spare room in Carmel if anyone we know out there needs a place to stay. Hoping for no wind and a long rain shower
    Chris Carrington Winter’s fb page

  59. I hear reports the fire is on Fernwood Property. Does anybody know the situation and if Ken and Barbara’s place on the river is OK?

  60. just posted by local firefighter Brent Bispo:
    30 hrs straight operating E7411 on the fire. To those who have given me the training , their time & have the confidence in me to bring me to this point in my life. I can’t say thank you enough! You given me the skills to do the greatest thing I will ever do. Make a difference by helping others through such terrible moments. To those who’ve lost their homes… my help & caring will last longer than any flames. It’s for life. I love you Big Sur. See you at 0500 E7411 re-staffed. We will do are best to make that difference. Thank you for the amount of concern & support from all my friend’s & family from all over this planet. You are with me every day in spirit. Engineer 7426 Mid-Coast Fire Brigade

  61. there are several donation links on facebook for victims of the fire: Hawthorne Gallery/Teresa Bradford-Cole/Michele Allen and my page as well. If anyone knows of any others please post here or on fb. Also a benefit for fire victims this Friday night at Cibos in Monterey

  62. Felicity Julienne Larmour · Friends with Carolyne Geisler
    Last news I had was this evening around 6: Regine is my mom- thanks for sharing this. Dad John Larmour) was up there most of today and SPCA is waiting until morning as it was already dark to see how this develops before evacuating the horses as well as Pamela’s. They are on call should it have to be tonight.
    Yesterday at 9:50pm

  63. Roger who lives in the big glass house at top of the hill was wondering if his house was safe and David Lang just reported that it was. If anyone knows him please let him know if he hasn’t heard yet- thanks

  64. hello all… there is a new faceBook page dedicated to the Pfeiffer Ridge disaster where people can leave information and get updates as well… Big Sur Fire Relief. Kate Novoa -great job on this page! Thanks so much.

  65. If anyone sees Myra Conyers please have her contact me. Richard at 831-915-0922 Thank You .

  66. Are there still any places in danger?
    Did Fernwood and the area to the north along the River Survive?

  67. Jane, I’ll make sure Robert (not Roger) from the glass house sees your comment. He’d heard something yesterday but every bit of info helps. He’s here in Santa Cruz at the moment.

  68. Thank you, Debbie! Just saw your post. I so appreciate your message. Talked with Wade last night. They were on hold for Rancho Rico but as of then they still didn’t know how today would be. So glad for the 50 % containment. Great blog this has been. Big love and thanks.
    Suzanne McQueen, Ashland, Oregon

  69. Fernwood is fine -I spoke to GM Andrew Carlson today… there are no structures currently threatened on the east side of the river…

  70. I heard on good authority that more structures were lost today. That’s all I know.

  71. We are collecting donations at FREEWAY PRODUCTIONS for those affected by this fire. No outerwear clothing at this time, but new undergarments, socks and a broad range of toiletries are appreciated (soap, shampoo, toothbrush = standard. Nail cutters, floss sticks, lotion, hairbrush, eye drops, Advil, chocolate, tea- my personal note- think about a more pampering level of care for the ‘necessities’). Please contact us if you are dropping off as we are not always at the shop 333-6855- call or text.

    For property owners or renters that have been affected by the fire contact Butch Kronlund at Coast Property Owners Association for assistance, they can really help.

    The Big Sur Health Center is currently accepting donations for most items, call to see what they need most. Contact them at 831-667-2580.

    Red Cross is not taking clothing or food, monetary donations are encouraged to assist with vouchers given out to those affected to purchase what they need. Red Cross 24 hour line is 831-320-9989.
    from Maya Friedman’s fb page

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