Colorado Fire, Day 3, 1/23/22

Sunday, January 23, 2022 11:50 AM
Dear Community,
Per Chief Harris, Big Sur Fire:
Highway 1 remains closed, and is anticipated to remain closed through Monday, January 24, 2022, with IC continually evaluating conditions and opportunities to restore access. Initial planning is for a convoy system for vendors and residents as early as Monday evening, January 24, 2022.
Given uncertain nature of conditions, Monday evening convoy is not to be relied upon, but by Tuesday, January 25, 2022, convoy(s) will hopefully be in place for mid day and early evening access. Additionally, strong push to re-open highway to the public as well, though convoy(s) at this time are intended initially for business/community re-supply/access purposes.
Overall fire conditions are improving and there are substantial resources assigned to this fire.
On power front, PG&E is expected to re-energize Big Sur area by 1:00 PM today.
Please note that while I am attributing above to Chief Harris, this is a summary of our phone conversation earlier today and any errors or misstatements are solely my responsibility.
Kirk Gafill

10 am the airdrop started a few minutes ago.From Mike Doig

East side of Rocky Creek drainage, photo by Mike Doig
John Chesnut’s wonderful fire signature map

9:30 am — Aircraft beginning to arrive over the fire…

8 am — I get to start your day off with photos from last night and first light by Mike and Blain

From Mike Doig

Colorado Fire, much more active last night then we had hoped

And from Blain Vandenberg:

Unfortunately last night the fire jumped the line that everyone had worked on all day.
It’s smoldering slowly back on the east face of the slope.  Hoping that the planes are on their way this morning! 
Still feeling optimistic.
Picture from sunset last night and this morning. 

”This Coast, this Big Sur we all are so connected to in our hearts and in our blood-flow is a jewel of the elements; Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. She and we who inhabit her boundaries are touched deeply and fiercely by them, in nothing less than dramatic ways.
Our hearts are woven together as one family, now and always, through the tempermental shifts in fate and perspective this raw and wild relationship brings us.
When you stand and face the dawn, know you are not alone, but rather held, cradled by the spirits of all who have held on bravely to her cliffs.” Christian Van Allen (it was too beautiful not to share with this morning’s picture of the dawn.)

18 thoughts on “Colorado Fire, Day 3, 1/23/22

  1. Thanks for the update. Hoping they will be able to take care of this'” slop over”. Do you happen to know what section of the fire it jumped the line?

  2. Christian Van Allen’s elegiac to Big Sur is also a bit like life these days: “When you stand and face the dawn, know you are not alone, but rather held, cradled by the spirits of all who have held on bravely to her cliffs” [to life’s raw edge]. Thank-you, Kate, for updating us. Hopefully ground lost last night will be recaptured through today’s fight.

  3. Thank you Kate for the update & for sharing Christian’s beautiful message.

  4. Was hoping, like everyone, for better news this morning. With winds currently from the South at 2 mph, let’s pray for a more benign day 🙏🙏🙏

  5. Thank you, Kate, and all the photographers who illustrate clearly what amazing work is being done to fight this wildfire. The lovely words express what I feel, though I’m not a Big Sur resident, it was, and still is, a place where I’ve spent many hours. I ache for all the wild areas burned and threatened, the wild animals affected and people whose lives are greatly impacted. Firefighters are heroes, indeed.

  6. Any idea what’s happening on the north end? We are not at Rocky Point right now, but our neighbors there reported the following this morning: “concentrated, all-day air traffic of retardant/water drops, using 4-5 helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft simultaneously, eliminated all the visible flame and virtually all the smoke generation from our area by nightfall. Thus, the view all the way south to the highway turn before the Bixby Bridge was as though no fire had occurred. Darkness then produced no visible hotspots of flame. There are indications of smoke-generating smoldering this morning, particularly down the Palo Colorado Canyon from the hillpeak, but nothing suggesting revived conflagration.”

  7. Great coverage here, Kate. Thanks to north coast residents and stringers for the photos. I note the affect on everyone throughout Big Sur whose attention, livelihood, supply chain, travel and emotions ‘attend the event’ caused by this fire. Sending blessings.

  8. When the fires got big in the middle 20th century, the USFS fire folks called for reinforcements, even scraping the bottom of the barrel to get timber management guys like me. A truckload of us were dropped off at the flame-front (light winds) with shovels (no special equipment except our hard-hats) and we quickly cut a line between two sections of a loop in a road up a steep hillside. We cut a narrow one to “mineral soil” and they worked our way back to our POB widening it to about three feet, tossing the unburned fuel into the black. The “real” firefighters left, went back uphill, and sat resting and smoking, trusting the line. But one little glowing coal had blown past the line into unburned litter about fifty feet from the line. I was the last one on the line, and the spot fire had gotten about fifty feet across by the time I saw it through the understory. There was no wind, so the tire was burning leisurely up the hill toward the real firefighters, so I went up and told them about it. Reluctantly, they decided to go down and help me put a line around it, then retired to the road again.

    Fires don’t usually “jump” firebreaks and roads actually; it’s usually airborne burning material under windy conditions that spot across such clearings. But it is common. When we first hit the main flame front a nearby white fir went up in flames quickly like fireworks, raining little drops of burning pitch, some of which burned little holes in my clothes and skin. I suspect it might have been one of those that started the spot fire.

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