Soberanes Fire, Day 37, 8/27/16


The IC from the latest team, from Alaska, would like to know if the Big Sur folks would be interested in a meeting to let them know what the continuing plan is.
It is the same strategy as they are doing now….

Would you mind sending out an email and posting the question to see if there is any interest?

It would be a quick informal meeting.



Martha Karstens


From Steve Harper:

“This comes directly from Tassajara. I am not giving the name of the person it came from, but can attest to it comes from the top:
“It has been very confusing. The man who gave us the “absolutely no help” message, had seemed very supportive when at Tassajara, and also seemed very uncomfortable as he was giving us that new message. The day after that no message, 2 safety officers (or something) came to ZMC from the FS and asked if we needed anything. Yesterday they came back with the woman who helps to assign crews and they looked at our request for help to cut line. She said she will do her best to get us a crew for 2 days, which would be a big help. One “problem” it appears is that we have done so much prep and spent so much on equipment that they think we don’t need anything. Maybe this is true compared to others. My feeling is that the main thing that would be helpful to us is to have even one or two more people who have actually fought fire there when the fire comes. We have great crew, but very inexperienced.

These are just my thoughts and should not be taken as true. We are trying to decide on our strategy and I or someone will include you as we know. Thank you so much for your support.”

Steve suggests emailing to express your concerns.

John Chesnut map:


August 27, 2016


Fire Information Phone (831)204-0446

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: 91,543 acres (54,259 acres CA-LPF, 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)
Containment: 60% Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 4 injuries
Structures Destroyed: 57 homes, 11 outbuildings Structures Threatened: 410
Current Resources: Crews: 22 Engines: 85 Helicopters: 12 Dozers: 19 Water Tenders: 14
Total Personnel: 1501

Incident Command: Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team, Tom Kurth Incident Commander. The incident is no longer in unified command with Cal Fire, many Cal Fire resources are still being utilized.

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.

Current Situation: Yesterday, a thick marine layer kept fire activity along the coastal area low. Weather stations positioned around the fire area continue to show significant differences in humidity between the lower and higher elevations. Interior portions of the fire continue to grow slowly. Similar fire behavior is expected today and no threats to fire containment lines are anticipated.

Additional structure protection and firing operation crews have arrived and are taking this time of slow fire growth to develop preparing for potential fire movement. Suppression line repair work continues on the northern perimeter of the fire.

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 (MIST) 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, as well as slow and steady hard work from the crews, as they look for options to construct direct line.

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: Point Sur Light Station State Historic Park is open and guided tours will resume today. Go to for more information. Portions of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park including the McWay Falls trail have opened. All lands and trails east of the parking lot and the campground remain closed. The Big Sur Lodge is open, however, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Day Use and Campgrounds remain closed. Go to for more information.

The following park units remain closed:· Andrew Molera State Park -All park lands closed to public entry; Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – All park lands except the Big Sur Lodge closed to public entry; Garrapata State Park – All park lands east of Hwy 1 closed to public entry.
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. For any unmet disaster related needs, please call their 24 hour hotline at 1-866-272-2237.


6:00 am – Here are the usual maps for today, and a new one I found:


Distance between fires map in PDF


IR Map in PDF link


So Ops Map in PDF link

Here are the weather and fire behavior predictions, which are contained within the much larger Incident Plan (42 pages) so they are screen shots, and as such do not have links.