Soberanes Fire Day 17 Images; Big Sur

Mike here with a few images of the setting in Big Sur between Molera and Big Sur Station from late morning today. Pictures here don’t represent the stiff wind blowing from the north.


What appears to be a  USFS hand crew preparing a fuel break of some sort from an established path just south of Big Sur Station about 300 yards from Highway One.


Andrew Molera State Park parking lot is being used as a refueling station for engines, crew buses and utility vehicles.


Four water dropping helicopters are ferrying water to the peaks above Big Sur Valley from a source provided by El Sur Ranch close to Andrew Molera State Park boundary.


Two water dropping Sikorsky skycranes are working together south of where the smaller copters are working. They were observed dropping loads  behind Mt Manuel. They may be reloading in the ocean off Pfeiffer.


Crossroads, Carmel: Firefighters and Equipment

The Soberanes Fire incident base is in full operation on the Rancho Canada golf course. As a result fire trucks and fire personnel dominate the parking lots of The Crossroads shopping center and businesses along Carmel Rancho Blvd. You won’t hear anyone complaining.

In front of Safeway there is a map station staffed by active or retired Cal Fire personnel. They answer questions about fire activity and help interpret the maps.

PG&E trucks have taken over the field at the corner of Highway 1 and Rio Rd.. They brought in heavy equipment to restore lost power and replace burned power poles. There were more than a dozen large construction oriented PG&E trucks and numerous support vehicles staged in the field at 6:00 am today.

Below are some street images taken August 3 on Carmel Rancho Blvd, Rio Road and Crossroads parking lot.


Most of the images taken yesterday represent engine strike teams heading out for the 12 hour day shift.


Strike teams from as far away as Calexico.



Strike team lined up for gasoline at the 76 Station.


Strike team from Mariposa on Carmel Rancho Blvd.


Exiting the incident base onto Rio Road.

Point Of Origin and South Coast Observations

Today I took a drive down coast from Crossroads to look at what could be seen from Highway 1. At Soberones Trail, near the point of origin the fire is still trying to work its way down to the highway. Engine companies are combining to pump water from the highway up to the fire burning on the south side of Soberanes Canyon. Firefighters are employing a progressive hose lay along freshly cut fire line.
There are a number of crews working together cutting line.
Of note is the presence of a California Conservation Corp or CCC fire crew. Since 2010 they have trained to respond to fires as Type 2 hand crews which allows them to work directly on the fire line. I watched them work up the mountain directly across the highway from Whale Peak. Below are some images of the CCC crew and other crews at the scene today.






Farther down the coast fire burning in the Little Sur River Canyon is working its way down canyon, trying to get to the highway. It has a way to go.


From Big Sur Bakery looking north you get a clear view of the dozer line painted with fire retardant that is literally a defensive line drawn of the sand. I don’t know the name of the ridge but surely locals know it on sight.


Interactive Soberanes Fire Map

This is best of breed interactive mapping from the folks at MappingSupport.Com.
Kate is resting for another full day of fire blogging tomorrow but wanted to make this map available to her readers. I believe the blue line is an educated guess at the larger fire potential.


The map below was submitted to the blog by a Hot Shot crew member. This is for viewing purposes as much of the information has been disseminated and distributed throughout the day.


Images: Soberanes Fire Incident Base

The Soberanes Fire incident base is located on the Rancho Canada Golf Club property off Carmel Valley Road. The two golf courses on the property are in the process of being shut down and donated to conservation concerns. In the meantime the property will act as a perfect spot to house a couple of thousand or more firefighters and equipment. I was able to capture a few images from the periphery of the camp. These images give a slight perspective on the setting.

The ‘camp’ has only been in operation for 24 hours but in that short time has become a self contained city of its own. Security has been established on Carmel Valley Road and no one but authorized personnel can walk the property.

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Fire Personnel Tents Along The Carmel River

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Some Sleep In More Comfortable Accommodations

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Chow Line

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This Sand Trap Has Seen Its Final Days Of Play

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Night One of Operation Of The Soberanes Incident Base, Carmel Valley.

Images: Soberanes Helibase, Carmel Valley

Post and photos by Mike Morales, my assistant admin. He forgets to give himself credit, so I will. 😉

Most of the assembled fleet of helicopters at the helibase in Carmel Valley stayed on the ground yesterday. There were 13 helicopters on the ground when I viewed the setting near noon. There’s a buzz of activity surrounding these airships with mechanics, ground crew support personnel and fuel trucks. Most of the birds are on contract so each contracting company has their own support team. It adds up to quite a lot of action at the grass field, Carmel Valley Vintage Airport.

Helibase, Soberanes Fire July 29, 2016
Helibase, Soberanes Fire July 29, 2016
Soberanes Fire Helibase, Carmel Valley
Soberanes Fire Helibase, Carmel Valley

Cal Fire Copter 406 flew in and as it landed around eight men who looked more like a security detail than firefighters hopped out and formed a perimeter around the aircraft, facing outward. I thought a dignitary was about to disembark, none did. It’s likely this crew was preparing for a VIP tour at some point later in the day. It would not be surprising the see the governor or a high placed fed come in for a look through.

Carmel Valley Helibase
Carmel Valley Helibase
Soberanes Fire Helibase, July 2016
Soberanes Fire Helibase, July 2016

Soberanes Fire, Day 4, 7/25/16 – Images #3

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Photo; Linda Kleisner. Delta Camp crews 1 and 3.


Photo Keith Vandevere, Firefighter burning off the fire line near Mal Paso, today.

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Photo; Amanecer Eizner — Taken from “the top of Clear Ridge. Looks like it’s approaching Pico Blanco and Apple Pie Ridge” Taken today.


Photo From Barbara Sparhawk, View From Carmel Valley

KateFire LisaKleissner

Photo By Lisa Kleissner ‘View to Doud Drainage from beach’


Photo From Barbara Sparhawk – Carmel Valley

Soberanes Fire, Day 4, 7/25/16 – Images


Palo Colorado View
Photo Courtesy Wendy Waters

Photo Courtesy Honey Williams. Lower Long Ridge from July 24

Photo By Mike Heisinger. Robinson Canyon Rd. July 24

Photo Mike Morales Robinson Canyon Rd. July 24

Photo by Mike Heisinger, Marsh Lake, The Preserve July 24

Photo SLO Stringer Palo Colorado

Photo Courtesy Michael Troutman