Soberanes Fire, Day 8, 7/29/16 -Local Reports

9 pm – A couple of breaking news items from two different very trusted sources:

First, a burn out operation is planned for the OCR area by Mary’s place – the 4 cabins by the bridge. There is a fire truck stationed at each house. It is scheduled for tonight.

Second, They are in the process of building out a new base camp. It’s on the Rancho Canada Golf Club, west course, right behind Carmel Middle school. Moving from Toro park. Dozers are forging a new road as we speak. Can hear it from my house right now. It’s the old Holman Ranch property.

4;45 pm – Another slide show with some wonderful photo by Eduardo Blas of the Sam Remo area of the Carmel Highlands. Pay attention to that second photo, there is a little tiny firefighter climbing straight up!!~

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3:00 pm -This series of slides shows a staging area at White Rock Carmel Valley for structure protection and a firing operation on the top of White Rock Ridge. As you will see the state and local resources responded over the past 6 days with Hot Shot crews Hand crews, Type three off road fire engines, Dozers and water tenders.

A type 3 Strike team consists of five similar engines with 3 personnel each and a Strike Team leader for each group of five. The type three engine as you can see is a very capable piece of equipment to take on fire in the wild land off road. The Dozers will open up the green area to stop the fire spread. Hand crews improve what the Dozers cannot get to. The Hot Shots will take on fire as needed with tools to stop the spread or again to improve
fire breaks. The firing operation again is to remove fuel and improve the fire break.
Best left to a very capable crew! I hope this helps, it has been a busy week for me.

Joe Pagnella

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12:30 pmimage

From Erin Gaffil:

Tom and I are offering a limited edition print with 100 per cent of the proceeds going directly to victims of this terrible fire. We have already sold almost 1/3 and if we sell out we will offer another image as needed. Go to to purchase the print. Please share this post with everybody on your list!


From Lisa Kleissner and CPOA:

During the Basin Fire of 2008 and the Pfeiffer Fire in 2013, CPOA was able to help address some of the financial needs of the community through donations received from neighbors and friends of Big Sur. CPOA has begun to receive donations earmarked to help those impacted by the Soberanes Fire.

CPOA has just added Loss Assessment forms to the home page of their website ( for folks impacted by the Soberanes Fire. Please download and complete a form and either email it to us at or mail it to POB 59, Big Sur 93920. Any information provided will be strictly confidential. We will use this to determine needs and develop a strategy to equitably distribute the donations received.

If you have questions, please email

From Michael Troutman, taken yesterday over Palo


Black Heart. Says it all, doesn’t it?

8:30 am – Cal Fire photo


8:00 am – from John Chesnut:


6:30 am – back on duty, gathering info, but brain still foggy. Post in the comments info you have that you want to share, send any photos from last night or today, hug your pets. They are anxious because you are anxious.

55 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 8, 7/29/16 -Local Reports

  1. Food available for our friends and FS
    families defending our neighborhood in Palo Creek at the fire brigade station. Let them know if they can break from fire work there is food waiting for them. Thank you Mid-Coast Fire. You rock. Thank you.

  2. We need in palo right now:
    Branden Creek community water system needs to borrow a 10-15 kilowat generator (240 volt) until power is restored. I will pick up and deliver
    This is to pump fill the empty tank to get water to protect existing homes.
    Blessings Todd.

  3. So sorry about your dog. I am all too familiar with what you are feeling. Sending love and light.

  4. Just want to let everyone know that I am following everything from N Texas, and keeping all of you in my thoughts. Many of you know me, and know that I hold Sur as my soul and heart’s home.

    I am in for the long-haul (which this looks like it’s gonna be) to help and support in any way I can. If there is any particular need that I can fill from here, let me know.

    mtwoman55 (at)

    I have very good computer, research, info aggregating and distribution skills and I have time. Taking care of my father leaves a lot of time to do such things. Let me know.

    And, BigSurKate…again I applaud you and all your hard work. And I am so, so sorry for the loss of your four-legged companion.

  5. Tremendous amount of fire truck movement headed east on Carmel Valley Road, and I understand up Hitchcock Canyon Road to the Kahn Ranch, possibly more dozer lines?

  6. The northwest tip of the fire, towards the Highlands, up to Mal Paso Creek looks like it expanded last night. It That area of the fire has been pretty stable up until last night. Anyone know what’s happening with that breakout?

  7. Not much concern being expressed about that apparent break out, but a whole lot of concern and movement of equipment and personnel headed to the SE break out. No air, as the smoke is really bad. I can’t see anything down here.

  8. I’m seeing a lot of fire trucks going east on Highway 68, and some on Corral de Tierra. Does that mean they are approaching the fire from River Road?

    I have been driving donations to Big Sur Station daily. Will do as needed until I return to work Aug. 8.
    If you have anything you want me to pick up and drive down to Big Sur Station, please email me by 10 pm and leave your phone number.

    I’ll call you the next morning to arrange for pickup:

    EXCEPT – we are GOOD on towels and pillows and toiletries for the time being (thank you to RED CROSS, LOBOS LODGE AND LA PLAYA HOTELS!)

    EVACUEES – the “free store” at Big Sur Station is filling up with things you might need – PLEASE come in and help yourself!

    Yesterday they had toiletries, water, paper products, clothes (divided up on shelves by size, W, M, Kids), towels, pillows, sheets, blankets, quilts, inflatable beds, canned food, snack food…. dog food…

  10. There is a tremendous amount of equipment moving into the old airfield in Carmel Valley Village airfield. Helicopters, emergency vehicles and firetruck from all over the state. I counted just coming in on the road 32 more firetrucks. Does anyone know what is going on? The smoke is very, very heavy in the Village and all along Carmel Valley Rd. today. Please let us know anything you hear. We live above the Village on El Caminito. Hoping there will be a meeting here tonight. Good luck to everyone, keep safe and God bless. Diane B.

  11. They are preparing days ahead, just in case, to make sure they have what they need, when they need it. It is often called “pre-positioning” but also, I know there is some time with containment on the SE section of the fire, and dozer lines that are not in.

  12. Betsy, thanks for clarifying question.
    List: anything that people would need if they were camping or sleeping in their car for weeks (which is what is happening in Big Sur to evacuees) –

    Here is what is presently in the Big Sur Station “Free Store”:
    toiletries, water, paper products, clothes (divided up on shelves by size, W, M, Kids), towels, pillows, sheets, blankets, quilts, inflatable beds, canned food, snack food, tea, instant coffee, plastic mugs, plates, utensils, stoves…. dog food… cat food…

    sleeping bags, men’s pants/sweats (XL is needed), women’s “pads”, a mirror (for trying on clothes), men/s & women’s socks, sweats for women (we have a lot of smallish jeans), inflatable sleeping pads (Thermarest type)

    Yesterday, a family came in, still in shock from losing home. Delighted to be outfitted with some (really nice!!!) outdoor jackets, soft fitting shirts (long and short sleeves), jeans, food, pillows, sheets, blankets, dog food and a snuggly fleece blanket for their dog. They are staying with friends for now – and they purchased their own toiletries and immediate groceries at Safeway recently, but these things HELP reduce the cost of getting the basics covered.

    BAKE SOME COOKIES – donate a handmade item. I don’t know how to be too specific – but as hard as it is to imagine (when it hasn’t happened to you yet) – try to think of what you would need immediately if ALL of your stuff was gone and you were living out of your car. THAT is what is needed at Big Sur Station. Hope this helps.

  13. Six local agency trucks and several others are assessing the Robles del Rio neighborhood in Above CV Village right now. Appears to be Assessment only at the moment (clipboards and such). Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Assuming they are doing the same in all neighborhhoods within the containment line. Has anyone heard?

  14. MT – thank you. I have a lot of things set aside for donation. I’m in CV + will contact you to arrange a pickup 🙂

  15. Giant generators parked at Tassajara and Cachgua intersection waiting to up to somewhere closer to the fire. Anyone know where exactly they are going?

  16. Thank you, Kate, for all of your efforts! They are appreciated.

    Does anyone have a source for summaries of the community meetings? I caught a link to the first one, but haven’t had luck finding any further information. Thanks!

  17. No list. Last night at CMS, tonight at a school way out in the Carmel valley, T…citos? Someone help me out with the name. Major brain fart. Past that, I haven’t seen an announcement.

  18. I’m posting summaries/notes of the meetings that I get, if that is what you mean, always under the local reports post.

  19. They must mean Tularcitos Elementary School at 35 Ford Road in Carmel Valley Vilage. Corner of Ford and Via Contenta

  20. Great info, Chris … Thorough, realizing that people who want to come might not know where it is. That’s what we need…

  21. MT – I will have things for the Big Sur free store tomorrow, Saturday.
    Is there a drop off point in Carmel Valley or at the mouth of the valley?

  22. Does anyone know what time tularcitos elementary school meeting is. I see no announcements anywhere. Are you sure there is a meeting tonight?

  23. Joanna, they are at 6pm. I haven’t seen an announcement for tonight, so, no, I am not sure, I just remember this is the site of the next one. There has been a shift today in focus on the SE side of fire, so maybe canceled.

  24. Scratch my question, i see that someone asked before me now but i was on an older browser page 😉

  25. Thank you, Kate. I live off Tassajara road on Parrott Ranch. I believe that is near the southeast corner. The air stifling. No ridge views. Wearing mask to avoid smoke particles. Our second fire this year.
    I do not listen or watch the media who like to scare us with pending doom so I “stay tuned”. You are the only one I trust to give me the news ‘straight from the hip.’

  26. The meeting last night was going to be at Tularcitos but they moved it to CMS. If there is a meeting tonight, anyone have informations? Thanks Kate for White Rock photos, my husband is up there and I saw hi I. A couple photos. We have a cabin there and he is helping with directions clearing, etc. keep praying!

  27. I also have not seen an announcement about a meeting tonight at Tular. However, my sister specifically asked (at the Big Sur Community Meeting) if a meeting would be held here in the next day or so and was told yes, but not on which day. Keep your eyes on the CalFire website and Monterey County OES for a notice. And here of course (Thank you Kate)! There will be one soon. By the time I finish hunting and pecking my way through this comment, I could have missed it….

    In an aside… posting an update to my previous note about fire personnel assessing neighborhoods that are not in imminent danger as part of the pre-positioning effort Kate mentioned here earlier. They are noting ambulatory and non-ambulatory occupants, whether or not there are hot tubs or swimming pools that engines can tap into – if necessary- and providing suggestions for additional safety precautions that we as residents can take right now to protect our property. My neighborhood remains inundated with thick smoke. We can’t see much, which is scary and frustrating, but the fire also is five miles or so away from here.

    Lastly, I really appreciate Joe Pagnella informing folks of the backburning operations. It does help. Thank you!

  28. I was at Kasey’s and asked a Cal Fire officer who spoke at the CMS Thursday night if there was a meeting at Tularcitos tonight and he said not that he was aware of.

  29. You mention you have a lot of ” smallish jeans” at the free store. Is there a need for ” biggish” ladies clothing, 16/18?

  30. Ebs, There is (and will continue to be) a need for anything that people would need, all sizes. I needed to tend to prepping today, so didn’t drive down, but BELIEVE me the donations are really appreciated! 🙂 Anything and everything people can do to help is appreciated and needed 🙂

  31. DONATIONS – won’t be driving donations down on Saturday or Sunday maybe Monday – but DO email me and I’ll find a way to get your stuff down there
    Email me at:
    … our whole hill (behind CV Village) was filled with fire trucks today (“tagging houses with Info Sheets – indicating what’s on property), constant helicopters overhead, tons of smoke. Needed to stay home and do prepping. Will start delivery again once I’m on my feet.

  32. Sally, thanks for your info on the firemen posting the “yellow tag” signs on people’s doors/driveways. It’s on all homes up in the upper Robles area, not yet down on Esquiline, or lower circle, but yes up Hitchcock. Seems they wanted to cover the upper hill areas first.

  33. Brookdale had State OES personnel doing the same in our neighborhood. Our locals are on the line…our imports are gathering intelligence to be able to serve us should the need arrive…hope we don’t need them to, but damn glad they’ll be ready if we do. blessings, all!

  34. Kate….I am a chef at the Hermitiage, and would love to make/deiiver food soup, etc…It’s a commercial kitchen….Where is the need?< Rachel Fann

  35. Rachel, I know the FF are fully covered, I know the mess kitchen staff, everyone else is spread out, and problems getting to our local, people.


  36. Joan – and all other kind people who have generously and kindly gathered together donations for the Big Sur Station – THANK YOU for wanting to donate and reaching out. Give me a couple of days and I’ll bring more donations to Big Sur Station (probably Monday?)

    I am needing to take a day or two off (suddenly) from driving to Big Sur Station daily to prep for possible evacuation myself – so “hold tight” and I’ll post in a day or two when I’m starting up on the daily drives again (or just email me and we’ll connect there –

    I must admit, I got a little spooked today – as in their “pre-positioning” tactics, fire men and fire trucks were all over our hill today (West of CV Village in hills), readying residents and taking stock of what is in each house – (FYI, Yellow Info Sheets posted on all houses read stuff like “Hot tub in back, 6 dogs, residents present”) – this helps fighters know if there is a water source and if the house is occupied, etc.

    Here’s a thought: if you are in an area that “just might” be in the an “evacuation advisory” anywhere in the near future, maybe you might want to do these things (it only takes an hour – and it will relieve tension when you’re done):
    1. Take 2-3 boxes and walk around your house to collect the MOST important “completely irreplaceable” items that you can see. Take some of your favorite cloth napkins to wrap your treasures.
    2. Take a binder or a folder – and carefully collect ALL of your MOST important documents, papers, titles, bills, contracts.
    3. Find a place AWAY from fire danger where you can store these 2-3 boxes and your important papers – until the fire danger is completely past. Friend’s house? An empty closet at work? Just get them tucked away. You don’t want to be worrying about your “heirloom” treasures if something exciting happens (evac notice with no warning).
    4. Pack a “go” bag for each member of your family – and put aside in an “easy to grab” location. Two changes of clothes, extra pair of shoes, sweatshirt, jacket, toiletries.
    5. Pack a “go” bag for each of your pets. Food/food bowl, treats, blanket, litter box if needed. Put this with people “go” bags.
    6. Make a “rough” plan as to where you would probably spend your first night if you needed to leave your home. If you think you might camp, make sure you have your tent/stove/sleeping bags near your “go” bags.
    7. Make reservations ahead of time if you have family members with special needs (wheelchair, infants/toddlers). There are 350 people evacuated, so don’t assume you can get a hotel room when you need it: planning ahead is always such a good idea. (A friend said to me, “when I get an advisory, I’m leaving, to beat the crowds before the mandatory evac notices go out.” There is logic to this.)

    I say this as I ran into some evacuated folks from Palo Colorado at the Carmel Middle School meeting the other night, and after hugging them, they said, “If I were you, I’d use this time to get my stuff out of my house. Don’t WAIT for the firemen to come knocking. Get your stuff out now. You guys are lucky because you have so much time to prepare.” Wisdom in the words.

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