Soberanes Fire, Day 49, 9/8/16

7 pm – This is the afternoon MODIS from 1:20 pm today, by John Chesnut. This shows a couple of troublesome spots, one of which could impact Tassajara, if the winds align. Let’s hope they don’t.



8:30 am – One of the things I like about John Chesnut’s maps, is it is easy to see the topography of the land the fire is approaching and tell where the ridges and drainages are, which makes it a bit easier to see where the fire MIGHT go from here.


7:00 am – there is a very moving article about the fire by author Patrice Veecchione in yesterday’s Herald. You can read it here:

What the fires have left behind

6 am – today’s maps: (having trouble with uploading the maps again-but at least I can post the links here). Today’s Topo reveals the current acreage to be 102,499 or an increase of just over 1000 acres since yesterday. One map reveals that the distance between the now-contained Chimney Fire and the still raging Soberanes Fire has dropped another mile to 33 miles.


IR Topo in PDF


South Ops Map in PDF


10 thoughts on “Soberanes Fire, Day 49, 9/8/16

  1. Hey Kate,

    First off thanks for all the info these past 49 days! I was wondering if you had heard anything about the possibility of the crews clearing the landslide from Arroyo Seco-Indians Rd on the eastern side of the fire. I know there was discussion about this to allow firefighters the ability to quickly access parts of the eastern edge of the containment zone (where the fire looks to be heading now.) It appeared there was resistance from the USFS initially, any idea if they got approval? Thanks!


  2. The posted photo posted today, looks like the ridge above the indian caves from Tassajara Rd.

  3. I saw that plume when I drove south on Highway 1 several hours ago…It did appear to be close to Tassajara.

  4. Re: Indians Road. It’s hard to be sure from the resolution of the maps but it looks like there has been a lot of dozer work on and around Indians Road between Memorial Campground and Arroyo Seco from early on.
    jfwiw- I remember this same discussion during the Basin Complex fire until the Indians Fire broke out. Up to then the USFS reports indicated the basic argument was one of cost and maintenance and hints of pushback from Ft. Hunter Ligett against re-opening the road. I got the impression that the paper was more of a rationalization in that there wasn’t any real sentiment within the USFS for re-opening the road in the first place. Personally I am mixed. The road has those absolutely spectacular vistas but I also enjoy the relative solitude of the area in the hot fall months. Escondido is my favorite Deep Sky Astronomy site and I do a week there every fall. It was planned this year for the last week of September.

  5. David, thanks for sharing your perspectives. For those of us who do not live there, it is hard to know what the issues are. I know mine, but I don’t know yours. That is why it is so important to share our views with one another.

  6. Keep as few roads or trails as possible in god’s country, no need to give opportunity to and encourage the abusive use by humans in what belongs to those who go without baggage and live in complete harmony with the wild places every moment.

  7. Thank you, Kate, for posting the link to Patrice Veecchione’s article in yesterday’s Herald about Sehra Evans’ memories of the house her father built and the magical candle chandelier that so exquisitely lit that beautiful home. Many other people will hold your memories also, Sehra, and in our memories all the beauty lives on.

  8. David, thank you for the insight. There has been a lot of dozer work but it still shows the landslide on the Ops maps. The road truly is spectacular and the seclusion found along it and at Escondido are indeed nice (try it during winter, despite the cold the start are even more clear!) However there may be upsides if it ends up getting cleared. I too have mixed feeling about the possibility of it opening and am curious to see what the USFS do.

    Raj I agree with you to a certain point. We need to do far more to prevent the abuse of the land, however blocking everyone out is not the way to do it. We need better education, enforcement of current policies (especially in the back country), stewardship programs, and a permitting process to keep people from wrecking high traffic area like Sykes. We are lucky to have these areas in our backyard, others do not. The USFS owns this land for a reason. Their mission is to preserve it and provide access to it for (responsible) enjoyment. It is not to close all the trails and roads.

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