Soberanes Fire, Day 27, 8/17/16 – Local Reports

7 pm update – the Soberanes fire did not increase in either acreage or containment today. Still sitting at 76,683 acres and 60%.

5:30 pm – I am back, finished my SLO trip, but a few AHs from the Car Week didn’t want me to. There were Porcses , Lamborghini’s, Ferrarris, and even an Audi racing each other up Highway One through Cambria and beyond. Two of them almost sideswiped me during an illegal pass. I called those suckers in.

From Jeffrey Carmichael, taken at 5:00 of the burn out operation from Torre, moving south to Cold Springs Dozer line. If you do not know where this is, check out the dozer map link Lucas provides at the end of each Maps, etc. post



7 am – Today, I am concerned about the Blue Cut Fire, now at over 30,000 acres, not our own, which still sits at over 76,000,  but even so, I had planned to go meet Rock Knocker in San Luis today and stock up on some fresh produce and milk and things, so at 9 or so, I go into the no man’s land of cell service, and I leave it up to you to bring each other up to date on what is happening with the fire closer to home. I’ll check back in when I get to SLO about 11.

28 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 27, 8/17/16 – Local Reports

  1. Can’t but help think of you Kate. I’ve been watching the updates of the Blue Cut Fire & the Phelan area on the news las night & this morning. Praying for your family’s health & safety and all of the hero’s on the front line.
    Thank you for the past 3 week’s coverage. Ive been following along with you daily & im continually impressed with how you pull this community together & share minute by minute happenings. How i would love to live in such a circle 365 days a year… i fell in love with the BS Valley 12 years ago & love our time there. Our thoughts and prayers for all of you. We kept our distance & rerouted this summer, but our hearts are with you as we mourn for you all. I admire the true community that you have. For now, we keep you all in our prayers & know we’ll be back when things are under control.

  2. Very quiet above Partington. Modest smoke over by Timber Top (or Logwood Creek beyond there) and helicopters a while ago seemingly just keeping an eye on things.

  3. As of 1:30 pm or so, everything changed. Apparently, they are backburning between Timber Top and Partington. Black smoke and huge flames visible for a while. But it has settled down as of 2:30 pm. Thank you, firefighters, up there on the ridge! We wish you good luck with the burn.

  4. Recent movement on the eastern side, with new fire activity detected on the southeastern flank of Uncle Sam; it appears to be nearing the Carmel River. Very smokey up towards Hennickson’s Ridge.

  5. Glad you didn’t get hurt, Kate! They tore thru Lucia like there’s no one around! Definitely going faster than 55 and people crossing the highway to cars on the east side >(
    Gotta luv the #@%$ concourse le arrogance!

  6. This from

    “Crews on the Soberanes Fire are expecting erratic fire conditions in the coming days and say the southern portion of the fire has the potential to grow. Crews are looking at existing containment lines from previous fires to help them stop the Soberness Fire”

    What do the crews consider the southern portion? South of the line from Los Padres Lake to Big Bur central?

  7. Regine, they consider Arroyo Seco and Nacimiento to be the final holding points. Hope to stop before then, but ….


  8. As per a neighbor, backfiring started this morning on the Carmel River Trail. Not sure if it is immediately south of Los Padres lake of elsewhere along the river. Very smokey with ash falling above on Tassajara road above Jamesburg. Can hardly see across less than a mile. Not been as smokey for weeks.

  9. And … how does fire crew get to the Carmel River Head waters. Yes on foot, I realize, but which path do they take?

  10. What does this mean: “IHCs to scout for opportunities to go direct. Be prepared to Coyote for 3 days.” Very interested in the verb “Coyote”.

  11. Hmmm … In relation to our fire? Or in reference to the one up by Coyote Golf Club in Morgan Hill near San Jose?


  12. “Coyote” – Person on a self-sufficient crew who engages in Coyote Tactics of building fireline until the end of the operational period, remains near the fireline while off duty, and begins building fire line again the next operational period where they left off. Often camps out for up to 3 days in rugged terrain. FireWolf

    this is from a site defining fire fighting terms – pretty interesting!

  13. Kate, did you notice on tonight’s incident update they changed the expected containment date from August 31 to September 30? Guess this smoke will be around for a while longer!

  14. Bruce, No, I did not. But I expected it long before this. It will go until the rains, methinks. MAYBE they can get “containment” and let the middle burn until then, but I didn’t expect containment by the end of this month, any more than I expected containment in a week like originally predicted.

  15. Stocked up on food and stay home during car week
    They race through the residential streets of carmel and I want to shout at them “do you know this is a TOWN?!”
    Used to be fun but it’s grown too big

  16. Re: the “car people” in town now. Saw an interesting sight recently.

    In Carmel Valley, the site where our heroes have been taking their trucks for fuel is right next to Quail Lodge – and also smack dab next to a large green field where each year the Concourse folks plant some HUGE white tents and fill them with their fancy cars.
    I was amused by the scene of the arrival of the “car boys” who came to put up their big white “toy car” tent, right next to this “small city of heroes” – a fleet of equipment, gas fueling rigs, rugged, firefighting trucks and equipment. I saw a group of our hero firefighters with all their trucks behind them, pausing to watch the “little guys” put up their fancy tent in the middle of a national emergency …. wish I’d had a camera.
    Also on the note of “what the ??” – had a little peek into an “opening ceremony” of another part of the activities last night – another huge white tent was all lit up – and inside it looked like a WEDDING was going on… seriously! Everyone in white, the ceremonial table in the front – and then I saw a “lump” covered with a white cloth! Obviously the whole shindig was to unveil a car! A “christening” ceremony?

  17. in a sense of fairplay – I just have to add – the Concourse blesses the peninsula yearly with a HUGE influx of cash – which puts actual food onto the tables of many, many families – I agree the reckless, inconsiderate drivers are a true hazard to many people’s lives – but I wanted to be fair to point out that while many parts of our nation are suffering economically, the flow of money into our area is always a good thing (wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the flow of money without worrying for our lives as crazy drivers flood our streets?)…. hmmm…..

  18. Took a bit, before I recognize where photo was taken, thanks J.C. , Soberanes is Reality

  19. When Noah set sail He dealt with the sea and wind. Knowing Fire till the Rain, Ain’t a better time to dance and ask pray for rain

  20. I’m more than a bit broken hearted to hear about the lengthened containment projections. May I share my story and glean advice from any of you?

    I’m a Kansas mamma to two young girls who tend towards asthma. We’ve been living at Esalen since November. We were visiting the midwest when the Soberanes fire began, and decided to stay hear until air quality improves. It’s been five weeks since the girls saw their daddy (and me my sweet hubby), who is the Garden Supervisor there. Today was the first day he wore a respirator to work, he says.

    Presently, we thought we’d try staying with some in-laws in Santa Barbara, and if/when we wear out our welcome there (it’s a lot to ask to take in two kids under five for an extended period, IMO/IMExperience) we’d try finding friends or in-laws to stay with in Santa Cruz or north of San Fran. At least that way we can see him on weekends.

    I’m super inexperienced with fires. Controlled burns happen round here all the time, and they’re a spectacle/attraction not wild and threatening.

    I guess my primary questions are: When can I REALLY expect the air around Esalen to be safe for our kids? and Anyone read this story and have a burning bit of wisdom or advice they think I need to hear? I’m open!

    Thank you.

  21. The back burning is moving south toward Esalen, and will probably be going on for some time – weeks, in all likelihood. There is no way to predict when the air will be safe for small children. With fires in a number of places in CA the air is unlikely to improve before the rains come, depending on winds and where you are in CA. Perhaps you and the girls need respirators, too. Also, if you/they can stay indoors with doors and windows closed and a HEPA air filter, you would be alright. That’s a big “if” however.

  22. I live near Esalen, air is safe for your kids now

    fire will most likely burn in back country until rains come

    welcome to life in Big Sur

    today was lovely, mostly fog ( amen ) smoke 1 on a 10 scale

  23. there is a small 3 1/2 month baby on my property now, parents are not worried

    baby blissful, not a cough yet

  24. Check with a pediatric asthma specialist. If your children have asthma they may react differently than a child without asthma.

  25. Thank you everyone for your feedback, including those who commented here and those who know me and emailed me.
    Onward and upward.

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