Soberanes Fire, Day 13, 8/3/16 – Local Reports

7:30 pm – this is happening right behind Cindra Brimsmead’s house in CV. It is a planned dozer movement.


6:15 pm – This does not look good – from my look-out bigsurkate


5:30 – from Laurels Grade photo by Sandra O’Keefe Bellamy:


5:25 pm – Photo take from Osborne Ridge by Lucas Ryan just now:


4:46 pm – the winds have really picked up down here in the last hour … Winds gusting to 13 mph. That has cleared out some of the smoke, but I hope it is not impacting the fire. I am seeing a much larger plume on the west side of the fire, and it is a little bit darker on the east side.

3:04 pm – current plume shot from Laureles Grade by i Sandra O’Keefe Bellamy

11:45 am – for those who are having trouble identifying landmarks, mountains, etc. Here is a great link a reader sent me that I will also add to the links on the right:

Uncle Sam’s Mountain maps

One of the things that is so great about this link is it is specific to Monterey. Before this fire, I had never heard of the mountain, Uncle Sam’s Mountain out there on the east side.

7:00 am – Print this out and take with you to Billy Quon’s “Sur” restaurant in the Barnyard:


6:30 am – Extremely smoky down here, can’t really tell what is going on. Lots of burn out operations yesterday in the Cachagua, White Rock, Racho San Clemente area and was posting photos all evening. I’m getting updates, which I will post shortly – I get them in FB PM, email, and easiest (for me) comments in our locals reports post each day. First, let me get this up so you have something to comment on!

A series of photos of the operations and back fire ing at Rancho San Clemente by Bruce Dormody are over on their FB page, with great explanations about the geography.

32 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 13, 8/3/16 – Local Reports

  1. Thanks for this. I live close by and will go there. It is especially smokey today. I live by the Carmel River and Palo Corona ranch, and grew up, up the road. My boyfriend and I truly care about protecting all of our land, and we’ve found ourselves asking this last month, who doesn’t put out their fire embers? We often ask, who throws their cigarettes and trash out the window? Who doesn’t recycle? I recounted being behind two grown women (in their 40’s-50’s) on the Carmel River bridge, throwing out orange peels of the passenger side window of their BMW station wagon, out onto the bridge. I recounted picking up trash at the River State beach two weeks ago. There was a stuffed trash can full of recyclables. Next to it, there were two, over flowing plastic trash bags that seagulls had gotten into, and baby diapers were spilling out of it. The recycle bin and the other trash can there had plenty of room. I removed all of the glass corona bottles, beer cans, and plastic water bottles, and put them in the recycle bin. I cleaned up what trash I could. My boyfriend, who’s a biologist for the department of fish and wildlife, spoke to a young man who was poaching fish out of the lagoon. He told him that fishing season is closed, to protect the steelhead. The boy said, ‘everyone does it’ and ‘I go up the river’ (an even worse spot than the lagoon), and he kept on fishing. My boyfriend called the rangers, and by the time they came, the boy had left. It is juveniles, and adults that do this. I realize that we can only do our part, by using our voice, and taking action. I’m wondering if all state parks can follow what Palo Corona is doing. You have to go to their website, or call, and obtain a permit to hike there. I think it has come to this for all of our area. How else can we protect it. How can we implement this? I also find my boyfriend noting the glacial pace at which the state parks move. I wonder how we can help to pick up that pace?

  2. Any idea how to reconcile these IR maps, which seem to show a lot of renewed burning just north of Palo Colorado, with Xasuan’s MODIS maps, which show no new flare-ups there in the past six days? Are they measuring different things?

  3. You cannot reconcile the satellite-based images with those made from the aircraft-mounted instrument. They are each making measurements of infrared temperature, yes, but at different spatial scales (not perfect point measurements) and at different times, using different types of instruments. If you carefully read the caveats at the beginning of Xasauan’s map section, it describes some of the limitations of the satellite data. There are also limitations to the aircraft data, but those can be offset somewhat by the added benefit of the pilot’s personal observations. So take each map for what it is– an estimated overview. In one case, it’s data from a single pass or “merged” together from multiple overpasses of an orbiting satellite (passes separated by several hours); in the other, it’s data merged from multiple flight passes overhead by an instrument on an aircraft (over however many minutes/hours it takes to fly repeatedly over the active fire area). While one would expect to see similarities if the two maps are relatively close together in time, it’s also not at all surprising that there could be significant differences observed based on other factors. I hope this information is helpful.

  4. As far as measuring different things, yes.

    Be sure to read Important Caveats here (satellite detection):


    Infrared capabilities here:

    The embedded youtube video shows infrared sensors in action here:

    Although the Cobra Helicopter may be using infrared on this fire, the current map infrared is provided by a Citation Jet as shown here:

  5. Kate, thanks for referring us to the Dormody’s Facebook page – great info and tons of photos – (Carmel Valley – San Clemente Ranch)

    – here is quote from 7 am today August 3, and also link so others can find this great resource:

    “Yesterday was quite a day…from inspecting the damage to the Ponciano from the previous day’s backfires to watching an intense amount of backfire lit in the afternoon off multiple ridges to better protect the cabin area. With only one minor slop over and one close encounter with a rattlesnake all in all it was a fantasticly successful day! The new firebreak through the waterfall area held and now they have just one more section to finish around the old San Clemente Dam and we will be out of the woods with this one!”

  6. Grapevine has it that Cachagua area got a 1 acre spitfire from the back burn, Not sure where and when exactly and if it was put out.

  7. Hi Kate,
    I’ve read that firefighters are dealing with a lot of poison oak. (No surprise there.) I wanted to share that an excellent homeopathic medication is Hyland’s Poison Ivy & Oak, available at Cornucopia and Rite-Aid. This has been a *huge* help to me and to my friends when we’ve contracted it. I’m hoping if I post this info here, it will filter through to those who need it.
    Thank you!

  8. Love your blog! Just FYI, the site you linked is neither called “Uncle Sam’s Mountain maps” nor is it exclusive to Monterey County. The site is called Mapcarta, and the link you give just happens to be the page on that site for Uncle Sam Mountain.

  9. So glad for the wildfire links to learn more about the Citation Bravo with AMS, the Cobra helicopters and Cobra watch data vans. Thanks, Lucas. Thank you again, Kate, for all this incredible access to information. You link us together.

  10. Uncle Sam is Beautiful. From one point on Tassajara Road, he looks like a pyramid. Is Uncle Sam on fire now?

  11. I get the sense that evacuation orders might be lifted soon in Palo Colorado. Are there resources available for people who are unfortunately going to find a pile of ash? I know that in previous fires elsewhere I’ve heard that careful, systematic sifting can help find items that escaped damage, such as metal momentos, ceramics, etc. Is there a “how to” guide for communities dealing with this? How to do the sifting, how to care for your lungs, How not to get hurt, how to keep looters out, etc? I’m doing some research on my end but wondered if others have info on hand.

  12. Susan Webb, you’re a woman after my own heart with the recycling, trash etc. I do the same. I call myself “dark green”!!!! I don’t know the answer on the larger level but we can keep doing what we do and hope it catches on. Other cultures don’t share our fanaticism, but can learn by example.
    “Keep on keeping on”!

  13. Uncle Sam has long been called Pyramid Peak by a number of locals , in gentle defiance of government oversight.

  14. Susan Webb and Little Plilly, we are also deep green. We have spent many hours cleaning up broken glass, cigs and cigars, all manner of wrappers, poo, toilet paper…we bury…phoning rangers…trying to educate miscreants. As we live close to Palo Corona, and enjoy a neighbor pass, as we bike and not drive to the park, we are frightened of a full opening, allowing many in, some of whom may not understand our fire dangers, decide to spend the night, and burn CV down. I like your idea of reservations…it works at Yosemite….it works at Palo Corona. If we have a finite # of hikers, park visitors, we can controll trail degradation, know who is in there,and help protect the environment for the future. I also support security cameras at all State and County Parks. If we had them, we’d probably have a pretty good idea who built this campfire. We need Smokey the Bear signs to educate folks from wet regions about our drought fire conditions, and no camping, no campfire, no smoking signs at every trailhead. Eric and Katie Coburn

  15. kate, why did you think it did not look good on one of your late afternoon pictures?

  16. Because there was a lot of smoke, and some was dark. I was hoping it was a back burn, and I am told it was. It looks better in CV right now than it does down here.


  17. Can anyone give a brief surmisal of the fire activity today yet?
    Searching and can’t find reports yet…

    Wondering how it is going out in Cachagua –
    I know there were lots of back burns – praying that the Dormodys are safe and that people are not losing homes or structures – any info appreciated….

  18. Martha, sorry … I had sidetracked by dinner. I put up tonight’s incident report, Containment is up to 27% and acres is only up to 46,700. I have posted it under official reports. I don’t think we ware going to know how successful the burn out operations were until tomorrow, as I don’t think Cal Fire will know until then. They are probably working them all night long.


  19. Kate, I will keep you posted from my end here in Carmel Valley on Laureles Grade Road….hoping this fire will be out soon…and sending my love and condolences to those who will be returning to no longer existing homes…my heart breaks for you…I wish I could bring everyone here to my home and have a wine, cheese, and pool party, and give everyone a hug…this fire is heartbreaking.

  20. Kate – you are the sweetest – no apologies needed – just wondering if there was minor – or major movement. Your answer soothed my spirit – 27% containment and only a minor increase acreage? Wow! (long slow grateful outbreath here….ahhhh)…. even if just for a day, seems the action is slowing… so grateful. Maybe the fire beast is finally getting slightly satiated… we can pray. Thank you for the news and reports! helps so much! Bless you !

  21. Can’t let this good news pass without a HUGE shoutout to all the men and women who are fighting to protect us, our homes, our lives. THANK YOU SO MUCH to all, on every level, who are helping. Bless you.

  22. 4 AM Aug 4th – VERY strong smoke smell over here (River Road /Salinas)
    No wind to speak off – must be really bad in CV 🙁

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