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 …

36 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 9, 7/30/16 – Local Reports

  1. Thank you Kate for your commitment to posting these vital communications.

  2. When on click on xt’s link it isnt working. Not sure if its just my iphone or if its a dead link.

  3. Link still doesn’t work. Maybe just write out the address and we can type it in ourselves.

  4. Morning Kate. So glad you are sleeping well. I’m on predinisone after contracting poison oak clearing our mountain in Mid Valley. Forgive me, I am a digital immigrant. Is there a way to access the old posts? In particular Adam had some great map links. Thanks!

  5. Aletha, Kate will know best, but you can try scrolling ALL the way down on the right sidebar column and find “Archives” and scroll to “July 2016” – that will get you some older stuff… it’s all about the scrolling… 🙂 Good morning to everyone! God Bless you 🙂

  6. Two way, if you can remember the approximate date or post, scroll down and click on the comments below it. Also, there is a search box on the right, about 1/2 way down.


  7. Kate, your link to XT is broken because it should not have the www in it, needs just a quick fix

  8. Thank you so much for speaking out for homeowners on this sensitive issue. I find myself combing through these videos — almost frame-by-frame — searching for even a glimpse of what may or may not have survived.

  9. Thank you, Kate, for your hard work. Your information is so important for the community. And I love your letter to protect the people who lost their home. As a privacy, there should be nothing said in the media without the consent of the owners.

  10. Lynn — if you read and follow MT’s post of 8:04 this morning, that works

  11. Not being “officially” released to us, but several of us familiar with the area have known for some time it was going to go much larger than what the party line was reporting.

  12. Thank you, Kate, for your request of not allowing the media in when the residents can’t even get in to see the damage to their property. I was miffed days ago when I saw a blogger from SLO posting from Palo and thought it was at the mid-coast fire station when my son wasn’t allowed in to check on the status of his place. I understand the need to keep people out for the benefit of the firefighters to allow them to do their job and as in the past the vultures who took advantage of a situation to steal.

  13. Kate- I’m glad you sent that letter to ‘them’. With your clout I bet we get action!

  14. Here’s a suggestion to all of those media folks who invaded people’s personal lives just to “get a story”. The stations/bloggers involved should make a huge donation to the victims starting with every reporter who didn’t bother to use common sense in a time of crisis. That might make them think twice before they go to the next “dirty laundry” expose.

  15. Does anyone know why some homes have been visited by a team of fire(fighters) and yellow tagged and others not?

  16. So glad you made your statement regarding showing the devastation of lost property. Perhaps we could have Mid Coast Fire Brigade at a few of the Community meetings to speak. I watched her on the news yesterday saying they (Mid Coast Fire Brigade) want to be the ones to inform property owners. I know she and her crew are putting in a valiant effort to tackle this best. She would know best what specifically is going on down there.

  17. Last few minutes – increase in wind, smoke and helicopter flyovers at Hwy 1 & CV. Nerves on edge. I really appreciate being able to come to this blog to see updates on changes. Thanks Kate!

  18. Whoops, forgot to mention the Chief’s name. Cheryl Goetz. She and her volunteers are incredible!

  19. Leslie – we’ve been yellow tagged here on Country Club. Cal Fire explained it was a precaution and that they are just getting a sense of what’s out here.

  20. National Public Radio (NPR) is finally (7/30/16) reporting the Big Sur fire news.
    Saying 57 homes have been lost, 2000 homes currently threatened.

  21. As I was leaving Garland Park late morning after walking my dog, a ranger drove by and told me they were closing Garland. Any official news on this? I figured they were going to stage firefighters coming into the area, maybe.

  22. A CHAT with some firefighters. Real nice guys – along CV Road at 9:30 tonight. About 2 dozen fighters in yellow, 4 trucks pulled over along road, right near Fro N Jo and Stirrup Cup. Turns out “we didn’t have anything to do, so they sent us into the neighborhoods to have a presence and answer people’s questions.”
    Me: “Oh, you mean it’s okay for me to stop and talk to you?”
    Fighters: “yes, that’s exactly why we’re here. We’ve been talking to people all night. You have a really nice community here. People are really nice.” (These guys were from Monterey Park, southern California.)

    They were headed into Sleepy Hollow after their Village stop. They kindly answered my questions and calmed my spirit, and also said “keep watching the updates every day” with a slightly raised eyebrow.
    These guys are true pros and fielded my questions gracefully, and shared these thoughts (paraphrasing):

    “We have a TON of resources to help. We have 3500 fighters here.”
    “California has a really good fire service all through the state. We have the best in the nation.”

    “We are doing backburning in the next day or so – (pointed out between village and area of fire). It will be five miles away, but there will be smoke and so don’t worry.” (He showed me with his hands three different “fences” in a row) – “We’ll be doing the controlled burning, with 1,2,3, dozer lines behind it strategically. The idea of a back burn is so that when the fire gets there, it has nothing to consume, so it can’t move.”

    “If we do need to evacuate you, and we see the fire advancing down your hill, we have a truck that goes and sprays “goo” all over people’s houses – this way if sparks land, they can’t ignite the roofs. This stuff works really well.” (to me this meant a lot in terms of PREPARING OUR YARDS – as this means that the fire will need to start NEXT to a house and then work in – if they can successfully shoot the goo. The more you clear, the more burnable stuff you can remove, the better our chances are.)

    “It’s all up to the weather. We are really good now with this mist and low winds, but if things change, it’s hard to know. There are no guarantees. If the wind blows high and dry, the fire will move.”
    In response to “I’m a little nervous about this fire” and pointing to where I live (on next hill), the guy responded honestly, “Good, you should be.” (then chuckled when he saw my scared face) – “No, what I meant was that it’s good you’re taking it seriously. Right now the fire isn’t moving a lot this way, but it could be. It’s good to be prepared.”

    Me: “I have a yellow tag on my house. Is that bad?”
    Fighter: “No that’s good. Having a red tag is bad.”
    Me: “What does a red tag mean?”
    Fighter: “A red tag is when there is an active fire on a line of houses and there is no way we can get to the house. It’s like triage.”
    Me: “I sure appreciate you guys. Everyone does. We talk about you all the time. You are our heroes!”
    Fighter: (humbly) “We are just doing our job. Trying to keep you all safe. Thank you.”
    Me: “Yeah, everyone wants to give stuff to you guys. We don’t know what to do. There is even a woman posting online who has a whole crew of people who want to offer bodywork and massage services to you guys. And there are spas in the area who want to open their doors to you for you to come and hot tub and sauna and swim. We really want to show our deep appreciation.”
    Fighter: (big smile) – “Well, I must admit I could really use a great massage right now, but we have to stay focused on our task. I mean as good as it sounds, how would it look if we were lying there getting a massage and burning embers were falling from the sky? Thank you so much, but wow… now once it’s over… now that would really be nice… ” (big smile)

    I am finding that the more info I get, the easier it is to proceed.

    I learned tonight that it’s okay to walk up to firefighters and ask them about things (unless they’re obviously busy of course). They are great to talk to, they are from ALL OVER California, so that’s fun to learn about, and they have a LOT of helpful factual info to share.”

  23. Kate, could you comment on the “170,000 acres” that was predicted in that Yahoo link as the final size for this fire? this is from your link above:

    “The so-called Soberanes Fire, which started on July 22 and is burning just south of the oceanside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, has roared through nearly 32,000 acres (13,000 hectares) of drought-parched chaparral, grass and timber in the Los Padres National Forest.’

    “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.”

    That is almost SIX TIMES larger than it is right now at 32,000 acres (or whatever). Comments?

  24. Well, if prior fires are any indication (and they are) it is possible it could be even bigger. Basin Fire was 162,181 acres. This one could easily fill that footprint, but it has a 30K+ head start … So, if it runs in the National Forest, all the way down to Nacimiento RD., yes it will be this big or bigger. But that is just a possibility. Weather, wind, and other things will have ultimate influence on this

  25. Kate, thank you for the quick and honest answer. Wow. Praying for moisture… moisture… moisture and no winds. Heaven help the firefighters, heaven help our beautiful forests. No words for all this. Love to all.

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