GOLETA, CA, December 3, 2014….U.S. Forest Service officials today announced the release of the Pfeiffer Fire investigation report which determined the cause of the fire to be a local water company’s electrical control wires creating a competent ignition source.
All other fire causes were investigated and excluded.
The Pfeiffer Fire began just before midnight December 15, 2013, on the Pfeiffer Ridge in Big Sur and eventually burned 917 acres.
The investigation report is accessible to the public on the Los Padres National Forest Internet website.
Later – it is quite possible that a controlled burn on FHL caused the smoke drift I saw. CB scheduled earlier in the month was cancelled due to winds and weather conditions.
6:00 pm – considerable smoke drift coming from North East of here. Doesn’t look particularly close, or threatening, but still investigating a possible cause. There was a smoke check at Mill Creek, but probably re this drift. One wildfire down in Fraiser Park, the opposite direction. If I find anything, I will post. If I cannot confirm where and what this is, I may not.
I am sure I have a photo of Tanker 81 out of Hollister from the Chalk Fire on my computer somewhere, but for now, I honor all the wildland firefighters, the family, and friends of all pilots, particularly this one, who risk their lives everyday.
Here is a photo taken just after the crash by Ken Yager, who heard the crash, and snapped this.
8:10 pm -I can see the red flashing lights at the site, as well as headlights further down. The smoke has really dissipated, so I think our local crews have got this one under wraps. Whew! Thank you firefighters!
8 pm – column not nearly as distinct as it was 15 mins ago, so looks like ff may be on it. I will keep an eye on it until I go to sleep.
7:45 – column has grown has has the flat smoke coming off the top. Still small, but visible with the naked eye.
7:30 am – Can see a small column from here. Neighbor alerted me, as I was watching a movie, but definite column. I called it in, but USFS E17 already on the way. It is south and east of Lucia, looks like in the area of Ruth Harlan’s old place from here. I’ll keep an eye on it, but right now it is not too large.
CORRECTION – I have been informed it is near or on Morning Glory Ranch, which is slightly north and east of Lucia. I need better binoculars so I can study that terrain more thoroughly!
The BSMAAC Meeting ended at 1:00 pm. I was meeting friends at 4:00 in Big Sur. Hm… Go to town or staying in Big Sur Valley?
Ray Sanborn was in the audience. He and his wife Celia lost their house. It has been six month, so I thought I would do a follow-up. I got the combo, directions, then went to lunch before I headed up the hill. I had my camera, so photos were to be taken, and a report written after I see it and talk to the residents.
Life always returns.
CPOA reported at the BSMAAC Meeting that they raised just over 1/2 million dollars, and have distributed just under that amount to homeowners and renters. Over $100,000 of the money collected was designated for a particular family or purpose. Ray Sanborn had nothing but good things to say about how CPOA handled the donations and distributions.
Tim Short, District Ranger reported that the investigation into the cause of the fire is still on-going. He apologized for the delay, but said it was a different branch, over which he had no control or influence.
And sometimes, we throw the unexpected into the mix. As Celia did.
The day I was there, Friday, they got the news that the county approved their temporary site, so this week, after six months in a motel room at Glen Oaks, they will be moving back onto their land, and they can work their magic daily.
Doesn’t look like we will see any per NOAA forecast.
AS THE MID/UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM MOVES THROUGH NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TOMORROW NIGHT INTO THURSDAY…CHANCES FOR LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS INCREASE ACROSS THE NORTH BAY WITH PATCHY DRIZZLE AGAIN EXPECTED SOUTHWARD DOWN THE COAST. OVERALL…MOST INLAND LOCATIONS WILL REMAIN DRY WITH ONLY A TRACE TO A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH OF RAINFALL EXPECTED ACROSS THE NORTH BAY AND COASTAL AREAS. THE BEST CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION WILL REMAIN NORTH OF THE REGION WITH THIS PASSING SYSTEM. TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO COOL SLIGHTLY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY AS THE AIR MASS COOLS ALOFT ALONG WITH AN INCREASE IN CLOUDS.