Soberanes Fire, Day 18, 8/8/16 – Local Reports

11:30 pm – from Sharen Carey’s front porch looking toward Apple Pie at 11 pm.


10:30 pm from Ed

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From Emily Montgomery, earlier this evening.


8:30 pm first one by Mike, second by Ed


From clear ridge by Mike Gilson


Mt. Manuel right now by Ed Van Weijen


Nice slide series of a retardant drop this afternoon on Mt. Manuel by Ed Van Weijen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Okay, this a photo from Kurt at the Deli taken at 2 pm. You may have to Zoom in, but you can see that there are at least TWO spots where there is spot fire on the west side of Mt. Manuel – middle right.



2:15 pm – hi way one to close tonight between 10 pm and 6 am.
Detail Information


1:45 pm – just finished playing tourist, and see a huge plume out by Cachuagua. I see lots of people have sent me photos. I will post a few. No one seems sure if this is a back burn or part of the main fire – it is burning toward Elephant Mountain, I understand.

From Jim Barr taken at CV Airport at 1:20 pm –


These two are from Christopher Bolton and taken from El Caminito. He suggests that perhaps the front plume is near Los Pladres DAm near Danish Camp and the 2nd, back one might be Uncle Sam and Post Summit meeting. I’ve sent these to  Keith to see if he can help id.

Per one reader: See the reference that they are firing off in the Princes Camp area today:



1:00 pm – image

9:15 am –


8:30 am – view from Post Ranch by Kurt Mayer:


7:30 am – Sorry, I was up half the night, worried about conditions in Big Sur Valley, so when I finally got to sleep, it took a Coffee Delivery to wake me up. I am watching closely the maps this am, as several of the lines were breached yesterday afternoon at Post Summit, and lo0ks like it is either over the line at Mt. Manuel or up against it. This day of R&R will be watching closely. Lucas is busy adding a few maps that were just released. Total acres is now 60,459 acres. One structure in Rio del Robles in Carmel Valley burned last night, but residents not injured. Don’t think it was due to the Soberanes Fire, but it was destroyed. I have much to go through to catch up,  then I will load what I can at 8 am.

62 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 18, 8/8/16 – Local Reports

  1. Spoke to my brother on The Knoll – one ridge south of Apple Pie around 6pm. They had firefighters rotating through so a fresh group at all times. At that point everyone seemed to feel that advancement down from the ridge had stopped due to heli drops and they were waiting for bombers to drop their loads. No calls overnight, so fingers crossed that there are no major changes to the last report.

  2. South of you we are following your reports daily and thank you for your constant vigilance and reporting. The stress level for you and all the residents must be astronomical . The only good thing I can say is I have learned so much from you and all the comments and I’m incorporating them into my one plan about preparing my home and evacuation if necessary . I’m located on the edge of a dying forest

  3. Kate, please do take care and restore yourself, it is so essential. FYI a number of engines threaded their way south through the Highlands very early this morning, 6:45AM; I saw at least 14 and then heard what must have been others, so appears a good convoy of resources headed down to BSV this morn. Be safe, be well, and know too, how deeply we all appreciate both you and your invaluable work.

  4. The home destroyed in CV was on upper circle in the Robles del Rio/Southbank area and was quickly extinguished, but not after having burned to the ground . Thankfully the human occupants got out safely.

  5. My understanding, though not verified, is that the house ^ referred to above which burned last night was durned not by wildfire, but for some other reason. I am not certain that is the case, but it was what I read somewhere, and if true, I think helpful and reassuring for folks to know.

  6. I am hoping that NW-DE line/run (on today’s TOPO map) above BS Valley is backfire ops. And I hope no-one’s place in between it and the main fire…..

  7. I drove to Mid Valley this morning around 8:10 am and passed 6-7 of the National Guards in their trucks ten or more fire trucks going east on CV Road.

  8. The house fire last night in Carmel Valley was unrelated to the Soberanes Fire—a separate, tragedy which has shaken our neighborhood. We’re all on edge anyway but to see the oaks and sky with flames shooting up 200 yards away gets your heart rate up. Amazingly the fire fighters got it out fast and stopped it from spreading to the surrounding forest! Once again, bless and thank you fire fighters!!

  9. Blaze Engineering just told me that the mandatory evacuation of the east side of hwy 1 in Big Sur is now an advisory evacuation (they are on the east side and open). I haven’t seen anything official about this. Anyone have confirmation?

  10. Just spoke with Soberanes fire info phone folks: the mandatory evacuation order for the east side of hwy 1 between Pt Sur and Graves Canyon _is_ still in effect. Maybe there’s accommodation for Blaze because of their abilities and resources.

  11. Fire protection on the Knoll vanished while Kurt, etc. was sleeping last night. Perhaps they are reinforcing Apple Pie’s ridge to keep it out of Pheneger. No other news from the Knoll.

  12. As of about 11am this morning the little slop overs on the BS valley side of the post to manuel line have all merged, moved laterally. Too smokey/foggy for a few the planes to drop but there are a steady stream of helicopters working it.

  13. nighttime hwy 1 closure tonight

    Incident: 00219 Type: CLOSURE of a Road
    Location: Big Sur Loc Desc: BIG SUR
    Lat/Lon: 36.289812 -121.851384
    Detail Information
    12:38 PM 3 [3] 1039 CT/TMC

  14. Not sure what is going on. We have exactly 3, that’s right three helicopters rotating between whatever is going on South of the gorge toward Ventana, and the ACTIVE fires above Apple pie, and the at least 7 separate breeches descending the slopes of Mt. Manuel. Not a Sky Crane in sight., nor any bombers. All three helos are the small variety, great for spot fires, but they’ve got more than they can handle, in my opinion. The breeches on Mt. Manuel are on both the north and south parts of the fire line they cut – the upper half by hand (which this will jump easily) and the lower half by bulldozer.

  15. There are at least two fire personnel in the meadow below Mt. Manuel. I hope they have a line of guys in the dip on the east side of the meadow (where it meets the upper slope of Manuel), cutting another line. The fire is approaching the meadow at a good rate. No action on the other fires on the ridges and in the draws south of the meadow.

  16. per Soberanes fire information phone line:
    tonight’s fire update meeting announced over the weekend (6pm at the MAF) is not yet for sure. They are working to find an appropriate venue for a meeting this evening in Big Sur and should have details available after 3pm today. Hopefully they will send out a notice.

  17. The plumes visible in Carmel Valley Village are incredible…hope all is under control.

  18. Choppers are actively defend the meadow and the upper part of the hand cut line. They just hit on of the descending fire lines (these are starting to connect). A bomber is in the air, but I have not seen a drop yet. First sky crane disappeared behind MM. Will watch this until 2, then back to work.

  19. Anyone know what’s going on with the plume that is visible in CV? Is this part of The Fire or a planned burn?

  20. Planes bombing east Molera, and a bigger chopper headed south toward ventana. They hit the meadow again and another part of the line coming down the face of MM.

  21. heavy gusts wiping up along the mid valley edge of CV river basin.. and an ever increasing ominous plume high over Garland as one looks east over CV golf club/ been a warm day.. there’s going to be plenty of tuckered out fire fighters by evening . First sounds of choppers near since Fri…

  22. The inciweb post above indicates that this is a back burn In Prince’s Camp.

    From my driveway it appears that there are three separate plumes. The main one, a smaller plume in the center and to the right heading toward Kahn Ranch.

    Since this has begun I don’t know if I have yet to see a back burn that has looked like this one.

  23. Just heard from a friend on Hennickson’s Ridge that Elephant is burning.

  24. Great detailed observations + reporting, Kate thanks SO much. Does anyone know if air drops are happening at this point on the BSV related areas of the fire, and if so, how many how often and what kind?

  25. Kudos to these helo pilots. Once they focused on the action below MM, they got hold of it quickly (still working on it though). They are seriously focused, making a beeline back and forth from the ocean to the fire line. It was amazing to watch how PRECISE they can be in rugged terrain. The fire was right up against that hand cut line, above the meadow. 3-4 times they layed water on that fire so precisely, that it stopped right at the hand cut line.

    Great job defending the meadow and killing the line creeping down the face.

    Whoever said they can’t extinguish a fire in rugged terrain, I beg to differ. Once they get focused and have a will to put it out, these pilots get the job done.

  26. Need for clarification on this statement:
    “US FOREST SERVICE TRAIL AND ROAD CLOSURES: A Forest Closure Order has been implemented to close the trails and roads within the Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Ranger District pursuant to USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a). The order prohibits going into or being upon National Forest System lands within the Soberanes Fire area. Link to Closure Map. Link to Recreation Site Status within the Monterey District of the Los Padres National Forest”

    Mandatory evacuation has become Evacuation Warning for all of Tassajara Road, all the way to Tassajara Hot Springs. This Road in part runs through US Forest I believe. So does the ‘Forest Closure Order’ override the Evacuation Warning for Tassajara Road which I believe allows for access over it?

    I know, a bit knitty picky and not a priority, but of interest since I am a Tassajara Road resident. And on second thought, non-residents may also want to come and take a peak.

  27. Yes, nit picky, but even with a closure, unless under mandatory evac, the USFS can’t keep residents from reaching their homes. Visitors? Yes. But not you.


  28. This is not. This is Mt. Manuel. I personally know Kurt, where his Deli is (the place where he took the photo) and personally know that right out front across the highway in the background is Mt. Manuel. Now, Elephant Mountain on the other side, closer to Cachagua is also on fire. The other photos below it show the plumes coming off Elephant Mt.


  29. The view from Sullivan’s at post ranch. The Fire is working its way down mt. Manuel all along the valley side about ¼ the way down from the top. Heavy helicopter action all day on hot spots. There were flames visible on the top at about 10.30 last night.

  30. BigSurKate, thank you for clarifying as I only know these mountains by sight. Wish it hadn’t taken this fire for me to learn their names.

  31. I have written two long and for me laborious posts about our experience over the last couple of days, but through my ineptitude or something I didn’t get the posts to go through. Anyway we are fine on Apple Pie amazing hand crews and long hose lays with handy little 4+4 fire engines, we have dodged the bullets so far and so though still at risk things are looking up and spirits are high

  32. big wind up here at cooper pt…copters stopped at 5pm…due to the wind or the smoke?…looking east i cant see a thing…be prepared if the wind comes your way !

  33. From NWS: “a weak short-wave trough is
    forecast to rotate through the San Francisco Bay Area and Central
    Coast late this evening into tonight. This will result in a brief
    increase in northwesterly winds region-wide tonight and bring
    about breezy conditions.”

    And: “.FIRE WEATHER…As of 3:30 AM PDT Monday…Relative humidity
    values in the vicinity of the Soberanes Fire are lower early this
    morning compared to early Sunday morning and are currently running
    as low as 10 percent above 2000 feet. Winds are light for the most
    part, but are locally northeast around 10 mph on the higher hills
    near the Big Sur coast. The latest WRF model indicates RH values
    above the marine layer are probably at their minimum values at
    the present time and are forecast to gradually increase today and
    then increase further on Tuesday.

    One concern is an expected increase in northerly winds tonight as
    a weak shortwave trough moves through. The 00Z WRF forecasts 925
    mb winds to increase out of the north starting this evening and
    then continuing overnight. Local gusts as high as 20 mph are
    possible on the ridges during this time frame. Winds are then
    expected to decrease on Tuesday morning and turn to the west by
    Tuesday afternoon.”

  34. They had planes putting down retardant from my dozer line up the ridge on our NW skyline to the dozer line above that runs along the main ridge up to Posts Summit ended at my front door, this is a contingency line I hope they never need.

  35. Micah thanks for your several informative posts there and I echo your hope.

  36. That huge billowing smoke is from above the Ewoldsen’s & Juan Higuera. The wind is driving the flames, and the fire is running down the grassy slopes. I think the helos are done from what I can tell. The one taking the heat signature is in the air, but I don’t think they are (or can) fight it. It’s looks like it will run across the slopes of MM tonight. It doesn’t look good.

  37. I watched from clear ridge from 7 -8pm tonight. The big plume started from Juan higera up mt Manuel but by 8pm it was making a monster run up post summit. Small spot fires turned in to acres in just a couple minutes. Impressive.

  38. Surely thinking of you all so very much. I understand that our Lions Club is working very hard housing people, helping to give supplies and many of us in our Lions Club district are making monetary donations to help those from this fire. I also understand some of the agencies may be pulling out, I don’t know for sure but this is the rumor, and just a note to say that our Lions Club District is there to help so there is hope. There is always hope. I am very glad they are closing Highway 1 tonight. I really don’t think this road should be open to the public to give access to everyone involved with the fire and those who can get back to their homes. This is not a time in my view to service the tourists. I love the tourists but we have much more important things on our plates as a greater community.

  39. I hope the winds die down and the humidity rises over the night. Any chance the link might be up for the meeting in Big Sur (8/8), Would like to hear what was said about the main body of fire and all the back burns.

  40. Well as you can all see between Juan Higera and Pheneger has gone to hell and is raging across the slope above Apple Pie so l should be without power or water by morning I no longer expect to have power or water from the back canyon so this is the last post for a while. We have w good plan of attack and with all the help we have this time I fully expect to be successful. I want to thank all the firefighters that have and are helping us. But I am most impressed with our new supervisor Mary Adams who actually came up to our place just as the fire was exploding over the ridge above us. She offered support and was very calm, literally under direct fire,I was very impressed. We have NEVER had a response from the county elected officials before in virtually the same circumstances, Thank you so much Mary

  41. Good luck, Micah. I can imagine who is there with you between your Apple Pie gang, Blaze, the McQueens and all those who have beat this thing with you before. That fire has met it’s match. I believe.

  42. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people in Big Sur. Be safe!
    We really hope the fire will soon be contained and will not spread any further. For all those who suffer any losses, we deeply feel sorry for you!
    With love from The Netherlands.

  43. good morning all…9 hrs sleep and its a brand new day…and it seems the marine lay is at play…lets get to it…have a good one and be safe

  44. Though I live at the university in Marina, I have many beloveds who live in BS, as well as my love for the precious land plants and animals. Holding all of you in love and prayers. And I am not complaining, just noting with astonishment that my house, inside in a the middle of the night smelled so smoky that I got up to check. No fire in the house, it’s Soberanes, sobering indeed.

  45. I confess, I skim through the pictures. They can be sooo upsetting. But the universe has a way of reminding me; Mutts comics sends me a comic every day, with a quote below it. And for Monday, the quote was “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.
    Albert Schweitzer”
    We think of you all, every day, most of the day. Wishes and thoughts and peacefulness and calm and strength and Namaste to all of you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.