Soberanes Fire, Day 21, 8/11/16 – Local Reports

And from John Chesnut a similar one showing the back burn from behind Ventana to behind Deetjen’s. If you zoom in, you can see what looks like a dozer line on the ridge top, all the way down off the map. This may be the one left over from the Basin that is or will be used again.


From Keith Vandervere:

Firing operations begin on Coast Ridge. Thursday evening maps & notes


5:30 pm – the view north from my place. I am hoping that this is a backburn mentioned on FB as being back behind Deetjen’s. There appear to be two smoke columns. For orientation, the point sticking out WAY in the back (on the left) is Pt. Sur and  the Lighthouse, which I can see at night


From Kyle Evans looking south from Pfeiffer Ridge to Mount Manuel, on the left, with the fire camps below on Monday night – such devastation can also be so beautiful.


1:00 pm – From the beauty of the fire (see below) to the ugliness of some of our tourists:


Kathleen (Lee) and Byran (Flores) I got a call this morning. I went down to Old Coast Road next to Bixby Bridge and this is what I saw right behind storm drain. It is a hose used to pump an RV septic tank. Can you please notify CalTrans or whoever? I hope someone can get it out of there. Let me know if they can’t and I will do it myself. Also I would like the sheriff and CHP advised about this new approach to sanitation. Ken Ekelund

Here’s one of my favorite photos by Rachel Moody from Applie Pie Ridge, taken Monday Night. In my opinion, it is a classic.


10:30 am – Hopkins Ridge activity by Sharen Carey:


From BSHC:

Dr. Ann Flood will lead a psychological debriefing in order to help prevent post-traumatic stress syndrome related to the Sobranes Fire. The debriefing will begin at 11:00 AM at Big Sur Health Center. Those wishing to have a private meeting with Dr. Flood will be able to meet with her after the debriefing. There is no charge for these services.
During the Basin Complex Fire we had similar counseling services which proved extremely beneficial for many residents. We hope you will take advantage of these complimentary services.
Spanish speaking services will also be available, if needed, provided by Eduardo Eisner.

Also on Friday, the 12th, the Soberanes Fire Fundraiser at the Golden State Theater. I will look for the flyer and post here:


And then on Sunday, there is another fundraiser here:



From the Los Padres National Forest of the USFS:

Recreation Facilities that are Open on the Monterey Ranger District

GOLETA, Calif., August 11, 2016…Los Padres National Forest officials today clarified the campgrounds and day use facilities that are open for recreational use on the Monterey Ranger District.
Although much of the Monterey Ranger District is closed because of the Soberanes wildfire, the following sites are open for public use:

· Arroyo Seco Recreation Area
· Kirk Creek Campground
· Mill Creek Day Use Area
· Nacimiento Campground
· Ponderosa Campground
· Sand Dollar Day Use Area
· Plaskett Creek Campgrounds
· Willow Creek Day Use Area

The campgrounds at Arroyo Seco, Kirk Creek, Nacimiento, Ponderosa and Plaskett Creek require a reservation or are sometimes available on a first come, first serve basis. To ensure a camping space, please contact the concessionaire:

Rocky Mountain Recreation – or (831) 674-5726 (Arroyo Seco)
Parks Management Company – or (805) 434-1996 or (877) 444-6777 (Kirk Creek, Plaskett Creek, Ponderosa, and Nacimiento)
Members of the public are reminded that they should call ahead to the Monterey District Office at (831) 385-5434 for the latest conditions and always consult the National Weather Service for current weather forecasts.


Here is this morning’s facts sheet:


7:15 am – We have no IR map for the second day in a row, so the perimeter on our maps is out of date. Not much we can do about that, unfortunately. Up here, I can see a thick, heavy marine layer covering all the coast visible to me. It is almost chilly up here, so far today. This is a really good thing for our coastal areas of the fire. Hoping the marine influence will help the last stages of the battle to save Big Sur Valley today, which has thus far been successful. Hoping all can rest a little easier when this day is done.

46 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 21, 8/11/16 – Local Reports

  1. Very thick smoke in the Highlands this morning — AQ ain’t good.

  2. Ditto for Carmel-by-the-Sea. The heavy smoke is the worst it has been for this entire time the fire has burned. I suspect the smoke will be heavy all day with little relief.

  3. Really bad smoke and fog layer in Carmel. Never seen anything quite like this. Has to be a problem for anyone with respiratory problems…and at this level, everyone.

  4. As already said.. so bad in highlands can’t see ocean or even some trees on our property but probably not nearly as bad as those in the midst for the fire get every day. OUr hearts and support are with all on the line and whose homes and property are affected. I am grateful that, at this moment, it is only smoke. Thanks to Kate and the BigSurKate team (official and unofficial) who contribute and help keep us all sane.

  5. Running the air purifier, kids and dog in, and the doors closed here in PG. Fingers crossed all the elements are coming together to keep this beast out of Big Sur Valley. Thanks for all your hard work, Kate!

  6. well, sane is a stretch for some of us, but very thankful for info anyway

  7. Outstanding, article, Lisa! I’m so happy to see a reporter capture the hard work done by the locals and the importance of honoring them for it. Nicely written – well done. Thank you.

  8. Blaine, Im in PG today, very thick mix of fog and smoke here this morning due to the southerly wind. Yesterday morning was smokey too but it did clear out in the afternoon. I just spoke to someone near Deetjens and they said the smoke is not bad there at all. For today, anywhere south of the fire you should be good.

  9. Bad smoke and fog in Monterey too, I was amazed to see people riding bikes and exercising in it. I have the air purifier on and we are all staying inside. We haven’t seen the sun in a while now, oh yeah, that’s right, it’s August. I hope you all stay safe out there.

  10. Th e public schools in Marina are keeping kids inside and the smoke is incredibly thick. Masks are being distributed to protect lungs while walking to the bathroom or lunch.

  11. After 2 good air days on River Road (Salinas Valley) and clear this AM – smoke from bay area blowing in. Thought my eyes were getting “unhappy”. Time to close up the house.

  12. Just phoned some friends in Carmel. They live in Polo Colorado canyon. They said all the homes in the canyon are saved. The homes that burned down were homes further up the canyon on Long Ridge road, and Green Ridge ? road. No land line telephone service , as yet on Long Ridge road. Mabe on Green Ridge road and PoloColorado Canyon Road, But I do not know ??? Our prayers go out to all who have lost their homes and perhaps some of their pets. Great work from the hard working fire fighters, hope they remain safe in this terrible wildfire,

  13. PGE Electrical power outage at Crossroads. 2000+ homes and businesses affected. Restoration of power expected by 8/11 3pm

  14. Received a call from PG&E that the power would be out here ( Highlands ) until abou 2:00 this afternoon.

  15. Just got message from Joline on Parrot Ranch road: “Blackburn on Hennickson n going very well”. I assume that is still just south of the Los Padres dam. Any one know?

  16. It is on some of the maps, but I don’t feel like going through them to verify. We haven’t gotten any IR maps in two days, so hard to tell where it is from here.


  17. Unofficially, the backfiring on Hennickson is the next section up (south) from Princess Camp.

  18. Isa and I are watching from our home on No Coast Ridge Rd the burn operations to the north of us, started at the top of the trailhead for Terrace Creek. We heard it was set in both directions, north along the dozer line and down the canyon towards the river, and south on the east side of the road in the wilderness, opposite the houses. We are waiting for the burn crews to approach, been about an hour now, with a wonderful USFS engine crew from Lassen who have been in our driveway for three days. Looking forward to the black to create a buffer between our house and the fire. So far the winds are blowing the smoke in the correct direction. Looks like Sur is socked in with fog below, but wanted to inform anyone above the fog on what’s going on with the new smoke.

  19. sorry, finger quicker than the brain. anyone who wants to come over to Capitola, the smoke report is very strong here today, as one person said worst so far. I still think parts of Highway 1 should be closed and ALL roadways and trails leading to areas of risk except to residents so that everyone has space to fight this fire. I still do not understand why the road is open during the days and with Car Week coming up next week, it’s going to get worse with lookey loo’s. But I’m no expert and I know the powers to be there have everyone’s best interests at heart.

  20. Usually they are used to direct engines and/or Mark roads to houses, at least that is what has been done in the past, and color is happenstance.

  21. Correction to event info above : The concert at the Golden State Theater is on FRIDAY, August 12th. The psychological help with Ann Flood is on SATURDAY, August 13th at Big Sur Health Center. Thanks.

  22. Ok Kate, if you didn’t “mess up” now and then you’d be a Saint and we’d have to call you Holy Mother Kate. Be grateful for your corrections and your Three Quarters Saint status – probably best for everyone hahaha!

  23. Good article about the Dormody brothers’ fight to save their Rancho San Clemente! I’ve been following their updates on here and on Facebook, and I’m so happy to hear that they were able to save their property. Must have been a terrifying fight for them. As far as the disgusting person/s who left their waste pump hose on the side of the road, and most likely pumped their filth directly into a storm drain…Karma is a bit*h. I wish they would just close Highway 1 to all except residents until this fire is under control.

  24. Soaring, if one of the Lasson crew is named Mason, tell his his mom says Hi!

  25. OK, what are the chances, I walked out into my yard and said to the first crew member from Lassen, super nice guy, is there a Mason in this group? He points at himself with a grin. Dear Jenny, he’s here, safe and someone you should be very proud of – I’m a former Big Sur FS fire lookout, so we stood and shared fire stories for a while. He said you’d be happy to know he’s here, the burnout is near perfect so far, the winds have been great. This crew are just wonderful, everyday heros – as are all working this fire.

  26. What a wonderful story!! I love stories like this. Her is mine.

    On the Chalk Fire, two guys stopped to help me change a flat tire on Plaskett, and I took their photo and asked if I could post it. I did. Brian’s mother cried. It was his birthday, and she despaired of seeing him on his birthday. Next best thing to in person.


  27. Kate – thank you for a wonderful blog and all your fantastic effort in this time of strife. Thank all of you for providing good information and good energy. And thanks to the overwhelming efforts of all the fire crews!

    My mother just spoke with Wade McQueen, who along with Jonathan it sounds, are headed home for a bit after tireless effort with my cousins Kurt and Chris. His biggest report echo’s what Suzanne’s said – this fire is being handled WITH the locals, and that is making all the difference in the world (or in our part of the world, at least – the Knoll structures are no worse off than they were after Basin, and the water tanks and spring line are ok).

    May the winds be still, may the fog be damp, and may the fire burn out quickly.

  28. dumb question from an east coaster who arrived in SFO today as part long since planned and anticipated birthday present visit for my mom/dad to your beautiful (big sur) coast line that included stays at DEETJENS and lucia…bit from all I am reading …assume it foolish to think that is still a good idea to make our way down that way Saturday as originally planned …or even carmel…correct (?)…
    our support , thoughts and prayers are with you all …thank you for your advice

  29. Carmel is probably all booked up, or triple their usual rates due to Concours d’ Elegance, and Deetjen’s is iffy. It might be fine, it might not. It is so hard to predict. Lucia is fine, however. Maybe cancel Deetjen’s and add a night at Lucia? To avoid any issues re road, you can come down 101 to Jolon and across Ft. Hunter Liggett on Nacimiento Fergusson RD. Which lets out on Highway One, just a few miles south of Lucia.

  30. is there someone at the Monterey County Visitors Council or Pacific Grove Chamber who has a line on accommodations, anyone found out if Jeannette was able to work things out? Don’t worry about responding if you don’t have time, totally understand.

  31. ee call Lucia first thing in the morning and ask for Jessie or Elizabeth and explain the situation. There are enough cancellations right now that we may be able to accommodate an extra night. Things will likely be rocking in the Big Sur Valley this weekend and it would be best to give fire fighters all the room they need. If we don’t have anything they can check places south of Lucia for you. The lodges in Big Sur frequently work together with an informal phone tree to find lodging for guests in need.

  32. Wow! So this morning brought crews to our little ridge above Deetjen’s! There are 20 guys working their butts off clearing brush around all the structures on a grand scale!! Word is the backfires behind us are doing well. The weather is on our side! Thank you Firefighters and Kate for all that you do during these time of crisis. I am beyond grateful!!!!

Leave a Reply

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