Pfeiffer Fire, Day 2 – official announcements

Basics from the meeting: 769 acres burned, 24 structures lost, 20% contained. full containment expected by Friday.

Please share with all that the county’s crisis counseling team is available to those who are experiencing stress and need assistance to handle this crisis. This service is available to both citizens and first responders. The counseling contact line is 831-755-4111.

Maia Carroll

2:00 pm –
ICP Advises Evacuation Watch is being issued for residents West of Hwy 1 between Fernwood and River Inn. Notices are being delivered in person by LE. This is advisory only.
Community Meeting sponsored by BSVFB this afternoon at 4:00 at MAF. I plan on attending.

Pfeiffer Fire
Los Padres National Forest December 17, 2013 8:00 AM
Fire Information Phone: (831) 667-0951

Incident: Pfeiffer Fire, started on December 16, 2013
Location: Pfeiffer Ridge Area, Big Sur, CA
Agency Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service.
Cooperating Agencies: Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, CalFire, Monterey County Sheriff
Current Size: 550 Acres Cause: Under Investigation
Containment: 5% Structures Threatened: Residences-200 Commercial Property-20 Outbuildings/Other-20

Current Resources: Crews: 18 Engines: 44 Helicopters & Airtankers: Are Available Dozers: 8
Total Personnel: 495

Last Night’s Observed Fire Activities: Fire continues to be active at night in the Pfeiffer Ridge community and on the south flanks backing down towards Sycamore Road.

Current Situation: Today crews continue to be challenged by the steep and inaccessible terrain, narrow roads and erratic fire behavior. Firefighter and public safety are the highest priorities.

Crews will continue to attack the fire directly, build containment lines around the perimeter of the fire, improve on lines built yesterday and provide structure protection.

Central Coast Team 7, Incident Commander Nunez, assumed command of the Pfeiffer Fire this morning at 6:00 am.

Evacuations: Pfeiffer Ridge Community from Sycamore Road on the south to Clear Ridge on the north, to Highway 1 on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

Multiple structures were consumed or damaged during the first few hours of Pfeiffer Fire, however the extent of the damage is unknown until an accurate assessment is made.

Road Closures: Sycamore Road, Pfeiffer Ridge Road, Clear Ridge Road, and the road from River Inn to intersection with Pfeiffer Ridge Road. HIGHWAY 1 remains OPEN! Situational Awareness while driving is encouraged due to increase in emergency vehicles accessing the fire area. BE SAFE!

The Red Cross has established an Information Center (831-320-9989 ) for evacuees at Fernwood Resort, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

A community meeting for the residents Big Sur is scheduled for 4:00 pm today at Big Sur Station, Highway 1, Big Sur, CA


Red Cross Opens Client Service Center in Response to Pfeiffer Wildfire in Big Sur

CARMEL, CA (December 16, 2013) – Early this morning, the American Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter volunteers began working closely with local officials to help those evacuated by Pfeiffer Wildfire in Big Sur, California. Volunteers were on the scene all day providing food, emotional support, and information to those who had to evacuate their homes.

A Red Cross Client Services Center will opened to provide affected residents with needs assessment, information, replacement medications, and other recovery resources on Tuesday, December 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fernwood Resort Big Sur, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. The center will be open daily for the next few days. The Evacuation Center, which opened this morning at the Grange Hall, is closing tonight.

Affected residents, who need emergency assistance outside of the regular Client Services Center hours, can call the 24-hour Red Cross Client Assistance hotline at 831-320-9989 to speak with a Red Cross caseworker.

Pfeiffer Fire, Day Two – a local’s perspective

5:00 pm – went to the meeting. Basic facts are 769 acres, 20% contained, full containment expected by Friday. 24 structures lost. We are expecting winds starting tomorrow night, but hopefully it won’t create any problems. Saw Celia at the meeting, and CPOA quietly gave checks to those confirmed to have lost houses.

Noon. I have been up here in Big Sur proper for 3 hours now. I’ve talked to locals, including Celia Morganrath Sandborn, her mother Helen Morganrath, and others. I heard her story of the harrowing escape she led her family and neighbors on, just because a small bladder woke her up. I will resell it with her permission later. I also have taken photos, some of which I will upload on the photos post, yet to be created. I also have some updates for official announcements, but having a bite to eat.


5:30 am – I will be posting throughout the day any relevant, helpful, information. Will start with this photo sent to me just after midnight this morning of firefighters defending the Halvorsen’s house, taken by Jeff Mallory.

My blog was inundated yesterday, and many people who had never commented before, which requires moderation, were commenting. That slows down the process tremendously. I also noted some speculation and inaccuracies, against which I would strongly caution. Specific offers to help are greatly appreciated, but they are hard to locate on my blog. A better venue for that is big sur cert which is organized specifically for offers of help so that those seeking it can find what they need.

It will be another long and stressful day for all those involved. Lets make it as easy on ourselves as we can. Strive for accuracy first and foremost. Be gentle with one another. I will, in all probability have three separate posts going and being updated throughout the day. This one, a local’s perspective; one, official announcements; and thirdly, a photos page. That way we can easily keep track.