Willow Fire, 6/21/21, Day 5

8 pm — from the Willow Fire, IMT PIO: “The latest acreage is 2,848 with 0% containment.”

This is today’s 12:26 pm update from the USFS. A phone conversation just now with the PIO for the IMT (Thanh Nguyen) on this fire confirms the size of the fire is closer to 3000 acres, than the old figure in this update. The other important change is to note that USFS is no in unified command with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office,

Willow Fire:  June 21, 2021 Update

Email: willowfirepio@gmail.com

Incident Information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7549/ 

Social Media: Twitter: @LosPadresNF   Facebook: @Los Padres National Forest 

Los Padres National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/pnf

Fire Information Phone: (831) 244-3205 Hours: 8am-9pm


Command: Los Padres National Forest, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and CIIMT 11

Additional Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: CAL Fire, California Highway Patrol, Big Sur Fire Department Cachagua Fire Protection District, Bureau of Land Management, CalTrans, Montery Office of Emergency Services (OES)

Start Date: 06/17/2021Location: Los Padres National Forest,Monterey County, CAResidences Threatened: 100         Residences Damaged: 0Mixed Commercial/Residential threatened: 25Size: 2,392Percent containment: 0%Cause: Under InvestigationResidences Destroyed: 0Personnel on the Incident: 451


As of 7:00 a.m., the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has gone into Unified Command with Los Padres National Forest and California Interagency Incident Management Team 11. The sheriff’s office has issued Evacuation Warnings and Orders for the fire area.

Hot temperatures combined with windy conditions and low humidity made for opportune conditions for the fire to spread yesterday afternoon. The fire burned through the night with moderate intensity moving about a mile to the east. Moderate to active fire behavior is expected toward Arroyo Seco, as well as northerly and southerly spread due to slope runs. Firefighters on the ground are making a strong effort to stop further spread to the north and west flank of the fire line with the assistance of air support.

Crews are continuing to prepare for structure defense in the Tassajara Zen Center and the Arroyo Seco campground area. They have been scouting ridges where previous fire control lines were built to possibly utilize them again.


Firefighters are going to take advantage of cooler temperatures and an increase in relative humidity expected today. Low humidity and gusty afternoon ridgetop winds from the south/southeast, however, may occur. Heavy smoke may be more visible in the area. A general cooling trend is expected through Wednesday which could help slow the rate of spread as ground fuels will not be quite as hot and dry. Winds from the south and southwest will continue to influence the fire’s spread to the east and northwest toward Arroyo Seco.


The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has issued an Evacuation Order for the following areas:

  • Tassajara Road from China Camp Campground to the Tassajara Zen Center in Los Padres National Forest, including tributary Forest Routes.
  • Upgraded the Evacuation Warning to an Order for Zone WF-3a. All areas of the Arroyo Seco Road west of Woodtick Canyon, to include the Arroyo Seco Campground, Rocky Creek Road, Camp Cawatre.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has issued an Evacuation Warning for the following area:

  • Tassajara Road from China Camp Campground in the Los Padres National Forest northwest to Kincannon Canyon. The Warning stops at the Los Padres National Forest boundary. This does not include Kincannon Road or tributaries of Jamesburg or Cachagua Road.

John Chesnut’s IR map: (Current acreage on the IR flight is 2839)

6:30 am — From last night’s inciweb update: (they have added an expected containment date of July 11th.)

Incident Information

Basic Information

Current as of6/20/2021, 8:47:42 PM
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday June 17th, 2021 approx. 08:00 PM
LocationArroyo Seco Recreational Area, Tassajara Hot Springs, Ventana Wilderness
Incident CommanderIC Chris Fogle, California Interagency Incident Management Team 11
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates36.207 latitude, -121.56 longitude 

Current Situation

Total Personnel451
Size2,392 Acres
Estimated Containment DateSunday July 11th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels InvolvedChaparral (6 feet), Brush (2 feet), Tall grass (2.5 feet)
Significant EventsModerate uphill runs, flanking, backingFire continues to spread through dry fuels on steep rugged terrain.


Planned ActionsCrews will continue to prepare for structure defense and protection as needed and scouting rides where previous fires control lines were built for possible reopening and contingency lines.
Projected Incident ActivityFire is expected to burn through the night with moderate intensity short range uphill runs and spotting. Moderate to active fire behavior will continue like this above the coastal influence (marine layer). For the next 24 hours, winds from the south and southwest will continue to influence the fire’s spread to the east and northeast towards Arroyo Seco. Fire continued growth toward Arroyo Seco is expected, as well as northerly and southerly spread due to slope runs.

Current Weather

Weather ConcernsThermal belt exists in the Ventana Wilderness and causes fire activity to increase in the evening hours contributing to rapid fire growth above the marine layer. RH recovery is limited and winds are expected to continue. A general cooling trend is expected over the next few days as a trough of low pressure approaches the Bay Area thru midweek. Below seasonal temperatures and better R/H recovery is forecast thru Wednesday. Generally light, terrain driven winds are expected over the next few days in the lower elevations with gusty afternoon ridge top winds from the south/southeast. Increasing gusty winds late Tuesday afternoon. Increasing marine influence with areas of low clouds and fog in some of drainages in the lower elevations Tuesday and Wednesday. A warming ad drying trend is expected later in the week.

3 thoughts on “Willow Fire, 6/21/21, Day 5

  1. We are in the evacuation zone at Fred’s camp (just east of the government campground). I gather the fire is slowly moving towards us, At Santa Lucia creek and arroyo seco river intersection, so it’s close, although two hills between us. Sky is totally clear at Fred’s camp right now. Lots happening in the air- maybe two planes, and maybe almost a dozen of the big helicopters. Winds are currently pushing west, but they flip in the afternoon and push the fire towards us. Thank you Kate, for all your updates… we wait on any new news from you or any others with information.

  2. Thank-you, “The Farm Girl,” for a first hand report. Much appreciate these. Prayers for you!

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