Chimney Fire, 8/25/16

5:30 pm – here is one of the operations maps for the Chimney Fire. I pulled it up because I got reports of a 20 acre “spot” fire in Division “J” as well as a report of the fire jumping the containment line in the north west corner. Looks like this may be the same incident, which may affect the southern coastal section of Monterey County.


11 am – Photo taken on FHL Training Area 28 looking South to the Chimney Fire, sent by Ray Martorano. He thinks it may be looking toward Waterdog Creek. “…I wish it was a wider pic so I could see what area I recognize….it sort of looks like looking towards waterdog from the bull canyon area….but never know been a while since been back in there.”


7 am – It is very smokey and I cannot see Cone Peak or Willow Creek. This fire is currently heading for the Silver Peak Wilderness Area in the South Coast of Big Sur, as you can see from the map below indicating the most current MODIS hits in the last 24 hours. One or two could be an anomaly, but this many? Not really …  And the map shows the Chimney Fire is really the more immediate threat to the South Coast. For example, it is less than 14 miles from my place. I’ll add more maps after morning coffee. Priorities, you know.


Here is the IR Topo Map:


Here is the link to IR Topo Map in PDF

Soberanes Fire, Day 35, 8/25/16

1 pm –

Pfeiffer Beach opened Monday, August 22, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park will open Thursday, August 25.

Here’s the rundown of State Park closures / expected reopenings:

• The West side of Garrapata has been open during the fire and remains open. East of the highway the park will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

• Point Sur Light Station SHP is scheduled to reopen this weekend with normal hours.

• Andrew Molera SP will remain in use as a Fire Camp for the foreseeable future.

• Pfeiffer Big Sur SP will remain closed at least through Sept 5th, perhaps longer because the fire has made the hillsides unstable. The Fire Camp is currently moving out, and Parks has begun necessary work to reopen. We have not set a date yet, and expect the work to take at least 2 to 3 weeks.
• Buzzards Roost trail opens Thursday, August 25.

• Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is partially reopening Thursday the 25th, which will include the parking lot and trails west of Highway 1. The eastern trails will remain closed.
Partington Cove trail, located west of Highway 1, will also re-open.
From Rene Robles at Big Sur Lodge
The lodge is not open yet but I am opening only for reservations tomorrow with limited operations until further notice as Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is closed and also the trails surrounding Big Sur Lodge.

Stan Russell

9:30 am –


8:00 am –

Soberanes Fire


Fire Information Phone (831)204-0446
Media Line: (831)484-9647

Incident: The Soberanes Fire was started by an Illegal campfire on the morning of July 22, 2016, in the Garrapta State Park. The fire is burning in areas of previous large fires including the Basin Complex in 2008 and the Marble-Cone Fire in 1977.
Location: Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Monterey County, CA
Agency Jurisdiction: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit/Los Padres National Forest

Current Size 90,062 (52,868 CA-LPF, 37,194 CAL FIRE,) Containment: 60% Cause: Illegal campfire
Injuries: 1 fatality, 4 injuries Structures Destroyed: 57 homes, 11 outbuildings Structures Threatened: 410
Current Resources: Crews: 16 Engines: 44 Helicopters: 12 Dozers: 18 Water Tenders: 42
Total Personnel: 1,494

Incident Command: Alaska Interagency Incident Command Team #1, Kurth, is preparing to take command of the incident from California Interagency Incident Command Team #3, von Tillow commanding.

Fire Restrictions: Forest Order 05-07-16-15 Fire Use Restrictions – Level IV Fire Restrictions. This Order is effective from August 23, 2016, through the end of the official 2016 fire season.

Community Meeting: A community meeting will be held at the Cachagua General Store, located at 18840 Cachagua Road, Carmel Valley, CA tonight, Thursday, August 25, 2016, at 6:00 P.M.

Current Situation: Fire activity in the interior increased yesterday due to higher temperatures and lower humidity producing visible smoke in the area. Fire movement around the perimeter continues to be slow with no threats to fire lines. Areas around and below Miller Mountain, Logwood ridge and Mount Olmstead continue to have fire movement. Crews continue to look for opportunities to construct direct fire line and preparing for future tactical firing operations. Structure protection continues to be evaluated and improved.

Shifting winds are expected today from the southwest bringing cooler, more humid air to the area. This will provide an opportunity for firefighters to continue constructing fire line and preparing structure defense. Aircraft will continue dropping water and fire retardant to reinforce containment lines. Crews will continue fire line repair work along northern Carmel zone.

Wilderness Tactics: To reduce the impacts associated with fire suppression activities in wilderness areas, fire managers and firefighting crews continue using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics as much as possible. The steep, rugged terrain of the Ventana Wilderness is inherently treacherous to firefighters. Most direct fireline is being constructed near the perimeter in areas that have been pretreated and supported by aircraft. The inaccessibility into the Ventana Wilderness along much of the fire’s east side continually requires patience, and slow and steady hard work from the crews, as they look for options to construct direct line.

The fire was caused by an illegal, unattended campfire on the Soberanes Canyon trail in the Garrapata State Park. Anyone with information is asked to call the CAL FIRE Tip Line at: (800) 468-4408. Fire managers want to remind the public that human caused fires are preventable. Please be aware of current fire restrictions and be careful with anything that could spark a fire.

US Forest Service Road and Trail 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. For a complete list of closures please visit: . The following sites are open: Pfeiffer Beach Day Use, Mill Creek Day Use, Willow Creek Day Use, Sand Dollar Day Use, Kirk Creek Campground, Nacimiento Campground, Ponderosa Campground and Plaskett Creek Campground.

California State Park Closures: All California State Parks from Garrapata State Park through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are closed until further notice; this includes Point Sur State Historic Park (Lighthouse), Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground and Day Use.

Evacuation Orders and Warnings: An evacuation ORDER remains in effect for Coast Ridge Rd. from mile marker 1.5 to Marble Peak at the end of the road. A WARNING remains for Tassajara Road from Carmel Valley Road to the Tassajara Hot Springs Zen Center. This area includes all roads that lead from the above described roads.

Donations: Local relief efforts to the fire victims have been provided by the Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA) and the Community Foundation for Monterey County. Donations can be made to the CPOA at Coast Property Owners Association, PO Box 59, Big Sur, CA 93920 or the Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940 (831)375-9712.

The Red Cross prepares for, responds to, and helps people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit, call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. For any unmet disaster related needs, please call their 24 hour hotline at 1.866.272.2237.

Additional Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: California State Parks and Recreation, California Highway Patrol California Office of Emergency Services , California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, California National Guard, Big Sur Land Trust, California Department of Transportation, California National Guard, California Fish & Wildlife, Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA), Community Foundation for Monterey County, Bureau of Land Management, American Red Cross, County of Monterey, Pacific Gas and Electric, Carmel Highlands F.P.D., Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District, Mid Coast Volunteer Fire Brigade, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Cachagua Fire Protection District.


This is this morning’s IR Topo Map:


And here is the link to: IR Topo Map in PDF

Here is the IR Ortho Map:


And here is the link to: IR Ortho Map in PDF

For those of you missing the weather and fire prediction maps, like I was, I found them today and will include them each time I find them. The are included within a much larger document which can be found Here


And finally, here is the South Ops Map:


Here is the link to the So Ops Map in PDF