Soberanes Fire, Day 14, 8/4/16 – Local Reports

8:45 pm – sunset from my observation post and a good night from Bigsurkate and Missy McNab, the mystery dog.


8:30 pm – As the fire grows (51.200 acres) so does the containment. (30%). I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this management team. I have been watching them closely for two weeks now, and their planning is the most advanced I have ever witnessed, and I have watched a few. If you witness increased activity in your area, chances are they are preparing a week in advance for the worst case scenario. I watched preparations on Chew’s Ridge via Tom Little Bear Nason for a week, and then watched the hard closures of the roads in the area earlier today, and knew a backfire operation would happen tonight to protect Cachagua. If all goes well (can’t always predict Mother Nature) Cachagua will be breathing easier in just a few days. They have saved White Rock this way, Rancho San Clemente this way, and they will save Cachagua and Big Sur Valley this way. This is a debt that can never be repaid. But here is an organization that provides for the fallen firefighters and their families, and maybe you can help pay your respects and thanks by donating to them:

Wildland Fire Fighters Foundation

6:00 pm – a message from from a friend in Big Sur Valley:

“The fire that was 14 miles is now right next door! Granted it is high on the ridge with a fuel break retardant dropped and dropping still in between. Just thought you would like to know how much fun it is getting to be.”

4:30 pm – for those who can’t go to  the community meeting tonight, and who are familiar with periscope (I am not, so can’t help you there)
“Please join us for the community meeting, live on Periscope at CAL FIRE BEU, or @lospadresnf and @CAL FIRE BEU on Twitter.”

Okay, I did get this link specific to the meeting off of Twitter, hopefully, it will work (caveat, I had to transcribe by hand to paper and then here, lots of room for error with those weird letter/number strings):


3:20 – This was taken from the Big Sur Deli at 2:11 by Kurt?


1:40 pm – I find myself napping whenever I can. I’ll be back, but in the meantime, a reader sent me this:


1:00 pm – Firefighter Brett Gainey captured this insane photo on the Soberanes Fire


11:00 am


10:30 am – from the Big Sur Health Center:

1) Big Sur Health Center is a non-profit supporting the community during this disaster. BSHC is offering complimentary services to all those who are victims of the Sobranes Fire, whether due to loss of residence, loss of job, or just volunteering to help neighbors fight the fire and protect property. We know from experience that during times of stress, people tend to get sick and/or injured. We don’t want finances to discourage anyone from seeking services.

2) Big Sur Health Center staff is supporting the local firefighting effort by providing on-site evaluation and treatment of the firefighters at the Base Camp at Pfeiffer State Park. We are proud to be able to support these brave men and women.

7:00 am – Another Dawn with no sun, as the smoke is too thick. Breathing has become both a challenge and a goal.

I got many, many shots of the huge plumes yesterday late, that, from what I was told last night, was a successful back firing operation. I couldn’t get them all posted. Will try to do better this am, if you have shots from this morning.

For the first time since the fire started, a predicted change in the weather for the good, allowing for recovery of RH (relative humidity) at night is in the forecast. (See the weather report on the maps post).

From Rancho San Clemente:


To see the rest of the photos, go to their FB page.

20 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 14, 8/4/16 – Local Reports

  1. Breathing a lot easier in the upper Joshua area today. Fingers crossed for all the Cal Fire crew and their fire strategy success. They are miracle workers.

  2. For anyone suffering with the smoke indoors a good HEPA filter will provide relief.

  3. EVeryone may know this already but we bought an air purifier from Home depot Monday and its been worth its weight in gold…. bought last one but they have probably restocked as they are in it to make a profit. Even if you have to go to Santa Cruz or Salinas or ??? well worth it if you have a serious smoke problem. Most A/Cs can be set just to recirculate air mode and they usually have good filters (check and clean filter if/as needed)

  4. Also check your PC for pollution/dust on the graphics card and hard drives and try to clean them. Air quality issues are impacting machines as well as people.

  5. Any tips on how to protect our animals in the smoke? Yesterday I could finally take my dog out for a walk but I worry about her breathing in particulates on days like this.

    Smoke today in CV Village is heavy and thick, just awful.

  6. Hear hear on pets. I bought two air purifiers last Friday at Sears in Salinas, each covering 500 sq ft (really should be rated at cubic feet). Sears too was low in stock. They have been a saving grace. My cat is housebound till all this is over, so she is spared the smoke too. She repeatedly shows me the door every morning for about 1.5 hours and then gives up. We have cat play to make up for her lack of outside time.

    As to purifier availability, maybe someone can contact a manufacturer and get an express ‘shipment on consignment’ and put out the word. I bet you they’ll sell like hotcakes. Local hardware or grocery stores may jump at the opportunity and a chance to offer community service, in the spirit of Big Sur Kate!

  7. Thank you Regine and James. Amazon to the rescue!

    I received a call from the Monterey County Emergency Services Dept. not long ago regarding the air quality here – it’s unhealthy but at least we’ve got blue sky!

  8. Yes, finally, there is a bit of blue sky here, as well. The smoke is still hanging in the canyons and in front of Cone Peak, but I can breathe a little easier, and now a gentle breeze to help.


  9. Report from Partington Ridge: dozers and chainsaws and masticators have been at work along the coast ridge road for the last few days. Sounds awful, and will probably look pretty awful, but it will no doubt be effective in stopping any fire.

  10. There’s alot of plane & chopper activity over the Big Sur Valley (south side) near Fernwood. Since 3pm

  11. Yes, I am informed the fire is reaching the ridge with a fire break and lots of retardant between the fire and the Valley.


  12. a good air filter with a mega hepa filter is Austin Air, maybe they can ship overnight, for a price, maybe they can donate something or discount something in light of where you’re from. Bed Bath and Beyond is often where we go for fans, not sure if they are out but if anyone wants me to call and report back, please ask or faster, if you can get a phone call out, call them, Capitola, Browns Bulb Ranch or any BB&B. The Austin Air filter has to be changed every five years but with a heavy load like the smoke, more I’m sure. Expensive machine, expensive filter but it works. We have the larger one and the smaller one. I’ve been using it over here in Capitola when the smoke was bad over here. Smoke Report now: the last two mornings have not woken to the smoke smell, just a tiny bit of chest congestion and the occasional cough. Anybody needs anything from this side of the hill and can’t here here, Santa Cruz?

  13. While I wait for my new air filter from Amazon, we are using a Himalayan salt rock that actually does a pretty good job of sucking up the smoke. My husband left for work early this morning and just the act of opening the door to leave brought in SO much smoky air. I didn’t realize how much I took clean air and blue skies for granted until now.

    Your view is beautiful BigSurKate and I hope you have more time to enjoy it. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep us updated – this blog is a true service to our community and we are so grateful to you!!

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