Pfeiffer Fire, Day 3 – a local’s perspective

8:00 pm – a locals’s perspective. I have made it home to the quiet, the wet fog, and little smoke. I have posted everything I wanted to or needed to for today … More than the three different posts I intended because I had so many photos of mine and Jeff’s I wanted to share. It is amazing how intense three days can be. I am so grateful to my community for their strength, compassion, and organization. Being a part of it is such a blessing. The LA Times did an article which shows this unusual community in our finest hours. I am very grateful that you all – Big Surians at heart, in the past or in the present – allow me to provide a service that many find valuable. It is my honor to be useful doing what I enjoy.

5:00 pm – here is what CPOA is sending out:
Hello Everyone,

Progress is being made on the fire and CPOA is aggressively moving forward in setting up the necessary steps that will be needed in the aftermath of this fire. Following is one of the first of those steps, site assessment.

Tentatively tomorrow, Thursday December 19th, if it is safe to do so, Monterey County officials from Planning, Building and Environmental Health will be conducting site assessments inside the burn area to determine if it is safe for people to re-populate. The criterion to be used to determine if it is safe revolves around :

1. Is the housing structurally safe.
2. Is the water system working and is it safe to drink.
3. Is the sanitary system (septic) operational.

Each situation will be assessed a color coded grade with Red being not inhabitable, Yellow safe to enter but not cleared for habitation and Green, safe for habitation.

As was the case during the Basin Fire in 2008, the County will not be looking at code enforcement issues of any kind nor concerning itself with whether or not a particular structure was permitted.

As part of the assessment process that will take place, Environmental Health will be taking ash samples for analysis to determine if the fire debris can be accepted at the Marina Landfill and treated as simple household waste. This was a protocol that was followed during the Basin Complex Fire.

On to the fire, the weather conditions have changed significantly since yesterday. There is a mid to upper level storm coming in that will hopefully bring precipitation to the area and help put a damper on the fire. Following is some general information about the fire and its progress.

As of this writing (11 AM Wednesday morning 12-18-13) the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire is active and generally within a geographic boundary that is bounded by Highway 1 to the East, Sycamore Canyon to the South, Bear Killed 2 Calves Creek (Middle Ridge) to the West and the Clear Ridge Road from Brewers Bridge to the intersection of Middle Ridge.

The fire has burned nicely down to the Highway,leaving all the big Oaks and Redwoods but cleaning up the understory,posing no risk for spreading further East. Inside that perimeter however, the fire continues to make runs up and down the various steep drainages and hog back ridges. Back firing is also underway in Sycamore Canyon and from Highway 1 back up the Pfeiffer Ridge Road.

The humidity has gone way up and the temperature, as forecast is in the low 50’s with wind generally non existent except that which is created by the fire. There is even a slight chance of rain later today. However, all of that is predicted to change over night and through Friday, when this cold front passes and a strong Northwesterly wind is progg’ed to kick in over the still active fire.

Be advised, this wind condition could significantly raise the chances for the spread of live embers in the direction of Rancho Rico, Post Ranch, Coastlands, Nepenthe and areas South and East of those locations.

The best way we can prepare for this is to make sure your gutters and roofs are clear of flammable debris and if possible, be on your property or have people on your property to monitor and extinguish small spot fires, if they occur.

Folks, there is every possibility that this wind event could fizzle out, the fire could lay down, it could miraculously rain or …… However, it does not hurt to be pro-active and exercise an abundance of caution by a heightened sense of awareness of a changing and fluid situation.
1:00 pm – well, there goes the living room, locals feel of The Roadhouse. The Associated Press out of SF just showed up, and locals have fallen quiet.

7:00 am – (Kate) Stayed with a friend in the State Park last night. Went outside late, and immediately called her out, as I could see a wall of glowing fire bearing down from across Highway One. We knew we were okay, as the ICC was between us and the fire. But it was quite the site. it is amazing how beautiful something so destructive can be! Hundreds of CDCR ff inmates were between us and the fire.

20131218-072105.jpg (From yesterday) so we knew we were fine, but very eerie.

I, personally, and the blog itself, have been absolutely inundated. Over 18,000 visitors Monday, and over 15,000 Tuesday. Debbie has been personally overwhelmed by the fire and the loss for so many friends and may have dumped your comment before it got posted. If so, we apologize. We will continue to do our best today. My morning will be spent getting more photos and stories, then running up to town for supplies, then back home by this evening. I will post what I know or see when I can. Keep the faith, prayers and thoughts coming.

6 thoughts on “Pfeiffer Fire, Day 3 – a local’s perspective

  1. Thank you Kate and Deb, there would be a lot less communication without your info.
    Hang in there Big Sur.

  2. Thanks for everything. Amazing and rare photographs. I hope someone’s filming a documentary and doing interviews. I know, you’re in the middle. But it’s a critical history and five years ago no one did and it’s important.

  3. Not wanting to add to the massive traffic of e-responses, but to let you know we live in PG and can easily pick up supplies from town and ferry them down to a point north of the congestion where we could be met for pick-up. Let me know if this would be a help. Jan

  4. thank you kate and deb for what you are providing for us folks that are not there . i am in southern ca and trying to get info on the scanner is few and far bwt to let other folks know also whats going on.- hoping with this new storm coming in it settles things down for you all. take care

  5. I read Happy Girl Kitchen on Lighthouse is accepting clothes food money, anything you have to donate and will make a daily delivery.

  6. Hi Kate,

    Here are a few photos of the helicopter fueling located at Molera.

    Not sur how they will send as I am forwarding from my iPad Photos by Rain Rain Greenslate State Parks >

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