What are we suppose to do?

Yes, traffic is horrific and dangerous on Highway One. I avoid going north, but could not do so Friday and Saturday and I got to experience it once again. (I stayed in town Friday night.) One positive I noticed is that the work Cal Trans and State Parks did at Julia Pfeiffer Burns works! No more madness, craziness, and dangerousness. Now, traffic is funneled smoothly into the parking lot there at the State Park off highway. There is a lesson there.

But I did not want to address this issue today, instead, I would like to address an even more serious one. I just wrote two articles for Voices of Monterey Bay on this uniquely summer tourist issue, which permeates all the back country. The subject is illegal campfires. A neighbor asks, what are we supposed to do?

A neighbor sent me the following text Saturday night, which I got Sunday morning. I am going to forward it to all that I can think of, but I also wanted to post it here and on social media:

“Last nite there were 3 illegal campfires. I told all 3 parties it was illegal. The 1 near […] put theirs out. The 1 […] ignored me and the party on Chalk Peak told me to fuck off & get the hell out of here ! I called 911 on them which is a joke! They don’t know who to contact. What are we suppose to do?”

Good question. I will send it to everyone I can think of and see what they have to say. In the mean time, continue reporting matters like this, but be careful not to put yourself at risk.

TAMC Road report

MONTEREY COUNTY – Here are the major scheduled road and lane closures for Monterey County from Sunday, July 21 through Saturday, July 27 – newest information is in red. Please keep in mind that construction work is weather-dependent. 

Editors note, I am only including the Big Sur conditions. Once you reach town, you are on your own, like everyone else. LOL

Highway 1: Ragged Point, Big Sur: June – August  
One – way traffic controls will be in place on northbound and southbound Highway 1 between Ragged Point and San Carpoforo Creek Bridge just outside of the Monterey County line for emergency work to construct a viaduct and retaining wall. Roadwork will take place Monday through Thursday from 6 am until 6 pm and from 6 am until 2 pm on Fridays. Electronic message boards will be in place and a temporary traffic signal will be activated by August allowing traffic to move in each direction 24/7 until project completion.  

Highway 1: Burns Creek Bridge – Anderson Canyon Bridge, Big Sur: July 25   
One lane closure will occur on northbound and southbound Highway 1 between Lucia and Vincente Creek Bridge for mowing operations work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Pilots Who Fight California’s Wildfires

I quite accidentally ran across an article in Air & Space Magazine which dovetails nicely with the two articles I wrote for Voices of Monterey Bay http://VOMB.org and which I featured yesterday. It is a very comprehensive article, so I downloaded all 17 pages. It also fits in with my interest in both aviation and firefighting. For those who share similar interests, I give you an introduction below.

There are days here when you walk outside and just know. Step on a stick and it snaps. Grass crunches underfoot. It’s hot, and the relative humidity is down in the single digits. If there’s a fire that day, Cal Fire battalion chief Justin McGough says, “You just know it’s going to burn very, very well.”

But today is not that day, as I step one winter morning onto Cal Fire’s Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base in Hemet, California. To the east, Mount San Jacinto is topped with fresh snow, and ample rainfall has relieved most of the state’s drought. Here at Hemet-Ryan, which remains open year-round, firefighting aircraft out on the ramp mark time quietly in the sun.

Cal Fire—the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection—is a state agency responsible for fire control across 31 million acres of timberland, brush, and urban forest. With 50 aircraft at 23 bases around the state, it has the largest firefighting air force in the world. Hemet-Ryan hosts a little of everything in Cal Fire’s standard contingent: a Bell UH-1H Super Huey helicopter, two Grumman S-2T tankers, and a North American Aviation OV-10A tactical observation aircraft. Crews at Hemet dispatch to fires from the San Bernardino mountains, near Los Angeles, all the way south to the Mexican border.
Read more at: https://www.airspacemag.com/airspacemag/wildfire-wars-180972602/

Fire on FHL

7/17/19 UPDATE: Fort Hunter Liggett, with the help of CALFIRE and the Los Padres Forest firefighters, responded to a vegetation fire off the Nacimiento Ferguson roads last night. The fire was contained around 3am at about 1,600 acres. Smoke will most likely be visible in this area during the day. THANKS CALFIRE AND LOS PADRES firefighters!

10:30 pm Update: From Cal Fire BEU:
”It’s on Fort Hunter Liggett. We’re assisting them with 2 engines. It’s in Stoney Valley, apparently. I dont have anything further, though.”

Friend in Lockwood notified me of a fire to the east of me that looks substantial. Neither one of us can pinpoint it in the dark. CHP website has this:

Incident: 00431 Type: Report of Fire Location: Bradley Lockwood Rd / Crg18 Loc Desc: JOLON / 54320 KENNEDY Lat/Lon:35.936372 -121.064203 

Detail Information
9:55 PM7[20] 1039 CALFIRE
9:48 PM5[10] A71 JNO FIRE

Fire at FHL

Doesn’t appear to be any threat to off base, but one source who knows the base better than I thinks it is out by Patton Field. I haven’t seen any warnings about controlled burns, which are normally in or around Stoney Valley. Anyway, this was taken by Rock Knocker sometime around 9-9:30 am this Saturday morning.

Campsite & Trail Closures Update

ALERTS IN EFFECT for the Big Sur Area
Updated June 19, 2019

Palo Colorado Road
Closed to Bottchers Gap

GARRAPATA State Park: Trails west of Highway 1 are open. Soberanes Canyon Trail is partially open from the main, gated trailhead across from Gate 8 of the Garrapata coastal trail. Hikers will be able to proceed to the back of the canyon along the 1.25 mile length of the trail. It will be an out and back hike as the Rocky Ridge portion of the trail will remain closed pending repair.

ANDREW MOLERA State Park: CLOSED TRAILS: River, Twin Cottonwoods, Hidden and Trail Camp/Headlands. OPEN TRAILS: Creamery Meadow, Ridge, Bluffs, Panorama, Spring, East Molera, Bobcat and Coyote Flat trails. NOTE: On June 17, 2019 the seasonal footbridge crossing the Big Sur River was installed for the season. Hikers wishing to access the beach, Creamery Meadow, Ridge, Bluffs, Panorama and Spring trails may do so without wading across the Big Sur River. The footbridge is expected to be removed in late October 2019.
More trail information at Andrew Molera

PFEIFFER BIG SUR State Park: CLOSED TRAILS: Pfeiffer Falls, Oak Grove and Pine Ridge. OPEN TRAILS: Gorge, Mount Manuel, Buzzard’s Roost, Valley View, Liewald Flats, Redwood Deck, Nature Trail, River Path and Warden’s Path.
More trail information at Pfeiffer Big Sur

JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS State Park: CLOSED TRAILS:JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS State Park: CLOSED TRAILS: Canyon, Ewoldsen and Waters. OPEN TRAILS: Partington Cove, Tan Bark, Tin House. The Waterfall Overlook Trail is damaged about 1/3 of a mile from the parking lot and closed beyond that point. McWay Falls can also be viewed from the pullout just north of the park entrance.
More trail information at Julia Pfeiffer Burns

CAMPGROUND CLOSURES: ANDREW MOLERA STATE PARK Trail Camp Closed until further notice. PFEIFFER BIG SUR Group Camp Closed and not available for reservation until further notice.

PINE RIDGE TRAIL and SYKES HOT SPRINGS are closed indefinitely. Call the USFS Monterey District office in King City (831) 385-5434 or visit their web page for more information regarding the Pine Ridge Trail and Sykes Hot Springs.

Prescribed Burn on FHL today, 6/17/19

3:30 pm — there is a lot of drift smoke coming over the Santa Lucia’s this afternoon from the controlled burn, and there looks like there may be some visibility issues on Nacimiento, so drive slowly and safely.

NOTICE: A prescribed burn will be conducted in the Mansfield training area past Stony Valley, near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 17. Smoke will be visible.