Images: Soberanes Helibase, Carmel Valley

Post and photos by Mike Morales, my assistant admin. He forgets to give himself credit, so I will. 😉

Most of the assembled fleet of helicopters at the helibase in Carmel Valley stayed on the ground yesterday. There were 13 helicopters on the ground when I viewed the setting near noon. There’s a buzz of activity surrounding these airships with mechanics, ground crew support personnel and fuel trucks. Most of the birds are on contract so each contracting company has their own support team. It adds up to quite a lot of action at the grass field, Carmel Valley Vintage Airport.

Helibase, Soberanes Fire July 29, 2016
Helibase, Soberanes Fire July 29, 2016
Soberanes Fire Helibase, Carmel Valley
Soberanes Fire Helibase, Carmel Valley

Cal Fire Copter 406 flew in and as it landed around eight men who looked more like a security detail than firefighters hopped out and formed a perimeter around the aircraft, facing outward. I thought a dignitary was about to disembark, none did. It’s likely this crew was preparing for a VIP tour at some point later in the day. It would not be surprising the see the governor or a high placed fed come in for a look through.

Carmel Valley Helibase
Carmel Valley Helibase
Soberanes Fire Helibase, July 2016
Soberanes Fire Helibase, July 2016

Soberanes Fire, Day 9, 7/30/16 – Maps & IR Log

Posted by a new writer for my blog, Lucas Ryan, who is handling all maps, and anything map related. Maps were taking up so much of my time. Thanks for coming on board – lifts a huge weight off my shoulders.

To ZOOM in on a desktop computer – hold CONTROL and + (on mac COMMAND and +)

Operations Map (zoom in to see Dozer lines – they did not release individual Dozer maps today)

Ops Map

Public Information Map

Public Information Map


Infrared Topo (less topo detail than previous maps)

IR topo 7-30-16

Infrared with Satelite Image

IR with Image

Infrared Log


7:30 am – from John Chesnut:

North End SaturdaySouth End Saturday

Google Earth with Dozer line overlay, fire activity, and fire perimeter.  Red lines are completed Dozer lines.  Green lines are proposed Dozer lines. See comment section for a link to the Google Earth KMZ Dozer file. Read more about the satellite heat detection here: xasauan today

Dozer thick (1) 7-30-16


A zoomed in view. Red lines are completed Dozer lines.  Green lines are proposed Dozer lines.

Dozer thick (2)

Note (see most recent Maps & IR Log post for an updated link):

Adam Clark has provided a link for people to use if they don’t have Google Earth.  You can find it here: Mapping Support (Black lines are completed Dozer lines and Blue lines are proposed Dozer lines)

Progression GIF animation courtesy of Dirk Reynolds



Soberanes Fire, Day 9, 7/30/16 – Local Reports

11:45 pm – and it is almost tomorrow, and I am headed off to bed for hopefully a solid 6 hours. G’nite, all.

This is a picture taken this/Saturday evening at 8:30 PM of the fire. The picture is taken facing west from the Hennickson’s Ridge firebreak. The long, low, dark mountain in the foreground on the left half of the image is Elephant Mountain.

You may post it on your blog.

Image copyright Eric Hulteen 2016



From Aletha Parker in CV:


9:30 pm – Dani Ridge from Ed VanWeijen on Clear Ridge:

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Mt. Manuel retardant drops just occurring. BTW, I have 8 tankers out of Paso that have been flying over my house all afternoon. Love to hear that sound.

Okay, the first overview shot is by Mike Gilson, Apple Pie Ridge is in the lower right, the two close ups are by Ed VanWeijen, all taken from Clear Ridge:


Photos from Mescal Ridge taken earlier:

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6:00 pm – 2 photos of Pico, first by Eduardo Eizner from Clear Ridge moments ago, the second by Bigsurkate from my ridge:


Photos from Ventana this afternoon:


5:30 pm – First, a shout out to Chris Chris Lorenc for bringing the issue of media access to everyone’s attention. I just got off the phone with Cal Fire Capt. Cordova and explained the situation. He was not aware of the private road status of Rocky Creek, Long Ridge and Green Ridge. Trespasses on private property are actionable,

I told him there were MANY, MANY private roads in Big Sur, Cachugua, Tassajara and the like. He promised to work with the MCSO to identify these roads and post them with NO MEDIA access signs.

We made a difference today, and it started with Chris Lorenc and became a ground swell of all of us banding together to make sure to right a wrong. We did good! Thank you all.

5:oo pm – South Side of Pico Blanco, Photo taken by Mike Gilson from Clear Ridge.


1:30 pm – Photo of taken from Mescal Ridge by Partington Chump about 1-2 hours ago, or 11:30-12;30.


If you want to see a almost 360, go to his FB page.



11:25 am – huge plume developing from Pico Blanco area.

10:54 am – flames top Pico Blanco. Here is a photo from Jen Smith from top of Clear Ridge:


10:00 am – interesting news article on Yahoo news that states:

“The blaze is estimated to have a final size of 170,000 acres (265 square miles), according to California Interagency Incident Management Team 1, which is comprised of federal, state and local authorities. The cost of fighting the fire is now at about $6 million a day, it said on its Twitter feed.”

The link to this article is Here

8:00 am – this is the letter I just sent to all the powers that be for which I have email addresses, including the USFS Forest Supervisor. I hope it helps:

“Do you you have any idea how much pain you are causing by escorting photo journalists onto people’s property to photograph the devastation without the consent of the owners? There are so many homeowners who are absolutely outraged to see their homes destruction – FOR THE FIRST TIME – spread far and wide through huffington post, KSBW, and perhaps others, I don’t know about.This really is about as insensitive and irresponsible as it can get. The home owners are not allowed access, but the media is? I don’t know if this can be rectified, but it can be stopped. So stop it, NOW.”


6:00 am – Good morning everyone! Managed another 6 hours of solid sleep, so should be a good day. Lots going on today with the addition of a second full-service fire camp at Rancho Canado for an additional 2500 fire fighters. A smaller camp to serve up to 500 is being established at Pfeiffer SP. The fire camps are for firefighters and support staff ONLY. They’ve asked the public not to come onto the camp. Also, no donations needed for the camp, so please do not bring. Setting up car camping and meals at the Calvary Church on Highway 68 for evacuees starting at noon today. Also, Tillie Gort’s is offering free dinners each night to evacuees.

Lucas Ryan is busy setting up the IR Maps, etc. page for me this morning which will include the IR topo map. Thanks, Lucas, for a lifting a huge weight off my shoulders.

Lastly, for this early morning post, XT has posted some great overflight photos he took yesterday, here: Xasauan Today if you can’t get the link to work, just goggle Xasauan today and you will find it. Oh, and a working link to his site is on the right side bar under LPNF Links. Scroll …