Mill Fire, Day 4, 8/2/19

Incident evening update, only changes are: no fix wing aircraft on fire, and containment has increased to 25%, acreage has not increased. Otherwise, all is going well.

The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 a.m. on July 30, 2019 on Mill Creek, north west of the Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road. As of this morning, 280 acres have burned with 20% containment. The fire is burning in chaparral, timber and tall grass. It is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Currently, there is no threat to communities, structures or to the public. Access into the area via roads and trails has been closed off.

There are currently 630 resources assigned to the fire, including:

Crews – 23
Engines – 26
Type 1 Helicopters – 3
Type 2 Helicopters – 2
Lead planes – 2
Fixed Wing – 1

Incident Information

Basic Information

Current as of8/2/2019, 11:07:51 AM
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginTuesday July 30th, 2019 approx. 05:30 AM
LocationNorthwest of Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road
Incident CommanderAnthony Zavalla
Incident DescriptionWildland Fire
Coordinates36.009 latitude, -121.467 longitude 

Current Situation

Total Personnel630
Size280 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained20%
Estimated Containment DateMonday August 05th, 2019 approx. 11:00 PM
Fuels InvolvedChaparral, timber and tall grass
Significant EventsFire behavior declined after midnight. Activity on the line decreased. Good recovery.


Planned ActionsIncrease containment and keep the fire from crossing Nacimiento Ferguson Road to the south into the Ventana Wilderness and from getting into Mill and Kirk Creek drainages and north of Cone Peak.

Current Weather

Weather ConcernsTypical weather patterns along the Big Sur Coast line is to have a marine layer between 1000 to 1500 feet. Land above that elevation has no humidity recovery or influence from the marine layer, which increases fire behavior. High pressure continues to establish today with expected increase in temperatures and decrease of relative humidities.

Good Morning! Great day in the neighborhood, no smoke visible. Quiet start to the day, good night’s sleep, and some great aerials to upload (thanks to Chip Laugharn, USFS). An absolutely amazing stop to this fire in impossible terrain. The interagency cooperation between USFS, FHL, Big Sur Fire, and Cal Fire BEU was a big success. Huge thanks to all those in the field, in the air, and in the support positions, you all did an incredible job. I’ll post the incident report when it comes in this morning. In the mean time, enjoy the view! I also need to give a huge shout out to VWA volunteers for staffing the trailhead to keep people out of the back country and to the MCSO SAR volunteers for evacuating everyone in the back country. It really took a village to handle this one.

Photo credit for the five aerials below to Nic Elmquist. Fire Behavior Analysts- former Hotshot and Chief Officer from Los Padres National Forest. (Thanks, Chip)

7 thoughts on “Mill Fire, Day 4, 8/2/19

  1. Wow! They really did get around the whole thing FAST! Awesome! Fingers crossed there are no sneaky little embers and all stays quiet!! Thanks for the update.

  2. Thanks for keeping your watch and keeping us so well informed. Could have been a quite different message without the heroic efforts of our dedicated fire folks. Deep thanks to all.

  3. Yes thank you. And here’s to hoping our dedicated Volunteer Fire Brigade members will be able to continue to fight these fires alongside the USFS and Cal Fire. So much of the time its our volunteers that are first to respond. Thank all of you!

  4. Yes, I think they will. Big Sur Fire has been training in joint operations with both USFS and Cal Fire BEU. And while we are thanking volunteers, I’d like to give a shout out to VWA for providing the volunteer staffing to first get people out of the back country camps, and then staffing the train head closures to keep people out. Big Sur’s wonderful volunteer community!

  5. Kate- thank you for your shout out to the VWA volunteers but we also need a shout out to the Monterey County Sheriff Search and Rescue volunteers who went in to backcountry and evacuated the wilderness camps. The VWA volunteers will continue to standby at the Kirk Creek Trailhead and give folks alternatives to the Kirk Creek Trail and talk to them about the hazards of fire in our wilderness. If you see them at the Kirk Creek Trailhead stop by and say hi, it is a very boring assignment.

Leave a Reply

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