Cuesta Fire Update #2

6:30 pm – I’ve variously heard south of the RR tracks, and south of 58. LPF tweeted at5:00 that it was 500 acres. Major issues with spotting per Air Attack – “this thing’s spotting all over the place.” From my view above the clouds, smoke drift into the canyons is becoming more and more pronounced. Nothing else seems to be going on, and since the Cuesta fire is moving in a northerly and easterly direction, and is wind driven, I suspect it is filling up the valley and then making its way here through the passes. Don’t quote me.

4:30 They are evacuating Santa Margarita, south of the RR tracks

Cuesta Fire has jumped containment lines and appears to be off and running.


Cuesta Fire Update

it is currently 100 acres and 10% contained. These are the weather condition predictions for today.

Here is what SLO’s KSBY says about the cause:

Here is an overview of those fires and their current status as of Monday morning:

“1) The Cuesta Fire — a name given to multiple fires along Cuesta Grade, has burned 100 acres and is 10% contained Monday morning. The fires broke out on the northbound side of the highway at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The Cuesta Fire is burning in steep terrain. It did threaten one structure, but crews were able to protect it. More than 250 personnel are currently assigned to the fire. Many worked throughout the night.

CAL FIRE said the flames were burning directly beneath power lines. They said they didn’t expect those flames to cause power issues, but a representative with the power company was called out to monitor the situation. CAL FIRE Chief Rob Lewin said his biggest concern Sunday night was offshore winds, which could cause the fire to move down the grade and jump containment lines Monday morning.

Caltrans crews shut down two lanes of northbound traffic for most of Sunday evening. All lanes are now re-opened and fire officials say they don’t expect the fire to jump the highway. No evacuations are in place at this time.

2) The Cholame Fire — a brush fire near Cottonwood Pass on Highway 41 — was fully contained by midnight Sunday at 12 acres.

The California Highway Patrol says the flames were west of mile marker 50 at the top of the summit known as Cottonwood Pass. That’s northeast of Cholame. This fire was caused by the same vehicle that caused the Cuesta Fire.

3) The Grade Fire — It broke out Sunday afternoon near Buellton and stopped traffic for some time on Highway 101 North. The fire sparked alongside the roadway at the top of the Nojoqui Grade. As of Sunday night, it had burned between four and six acres and was 80 percent contained. An update on containment was not immediately available.”


Cuesta Fire

imageCuesta Fire -Photo by SLOStringer

i have been trying to post about this since 7:30 last night, which is when this was taken.

7:30 Multiple starts from about an hour ago merged into one fire on Cuesta Grade. It was started by a dragging chain, and it is probably the same vehicle that started the fire in Santa Barbara County, as well. The fire has crested the ridge to the East of 101. One observer reports it is rugged territory with much fuel. He witnessed 100′ flames, and estimates over 25 acres currently I have a photo from SLOStringer I will try to post when I can. Aircraft were called off for the evening, but are in order for tomorrow. Currently, dozers are trying to put in fire breaks around it, and one structure has structure protection in place.

As of 9:30 last night, it was reported to be 75 acres with zero containment. I’ll try to get an update before going back to sleep – it’s 4 am.