Devil’s Wildfire

2:30 pm – Spotter plane has returned to Hollister, so that is good news. Means this was probably a false alarm, but boy were they on it immediately. That is good news.

One local firefighter said they are canceling all incoming. I don’t know what that means, so let’s just hold off on the panic and see what is going on.

From LPF Wildcad:

08/12/2019 13:30. LPF-1830
DEVILWildfireDevil’s Peak.BC12LPF CRW3LPF DIV1LPF DOZ3LPF E319LPF E335LPF E337LPF E342LPF 4X E41LPF HB-XFT HEL528LPF HEL530LPF PAT18LPF Q...36 23.298, -121 46.30218S R2E Sec 5.

This is the area on Google Earth:

Grass Fire, Paso, JSO Neblick Bridge & 101 NB

Detail
3:03 PM8[14] 1039 MICAH FRM DOT 
2:58 PM7[13] B9-001B ADV DOT OF CLOSURE AND SEE IF THEY CAN EXP AND RESP OUT TO ASSIST
2:56 PM6[12] B9-001B FIRE ADV #2 LN CLOSED 1 HOUR
2:50 PM5[10] B9-014B DIVERTING TRFC ON S SPRING OFR
2:47 PM4[9] B9-001B #2 LN SHUT DOWN – #1 LN IS OPEN
2:45 PM3[8] [Notification] [CHP]-PASO ROBLES PD ADVSD VEHS NOW DRIVING WW ON FRWY [Shared]
2:38 PM2[4] [Notification] [CHP]-PASO ROBLES PD ADVSD WILL BE ON RHS / REQ CHP [Shared]
2:33 PM1[1] GRASS FIRE

USFS Mill Fire Update

Fire Update

U.S. Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Region

Los Padres National Forest
6750 Navigator Way
Goleta, CA 93117

http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf

MILL FIRE

August 4, 2019

UPDATE

Date Started:July 30, 2019Cause: Under InvestigationTotal Acres:  310Containment: 60%

Injuries to Date2​​Structures Damaged/Destroyed: 0​​Total Personnel: 383

Assigned Resources:

Crews: 5     Engines: 16     Helicopters: 3     Air Tankers: 0     Evacuations:  0

Current:

KING CITY, Calif. – The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 am Tuesday, July 30, near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and the intersection of California State Highway 1 in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest.  The fire has currently burned approximately 310 acres.  There are 383 firefighters on scene as part of a full response that includes engine crews, hand crews and air support. There is currently 60% containment. 

Overnight crews patrolled the fire line. Firefighters worked to suppress some minimal fire activity near the junction of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and Cone Peak Road. Today crews will continue to mop up and improve line where needed with the major concentration of effort on the southeast corner near the junction of Nacimiento-Fergusson and Cone Peak Roads. Demobilization of federal resources will begin today.

There are currently no evacuations in effect and no structures threatened.  There have been two minor injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Road Closures:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is currently closed at Highway 1 and at the Fort Hunter Liggett Boundary to allow emergency equipment and fire engines to safely navigate the road.  

For additional Fire Information call Monterey Ranger District (831) 385-5434

Mill Fire, Day 5, 8/3/19

MILL FIRE

August 3, 2019

USFS UPDATE

Date Started:​July 30, 2019​Cause: Under Investigation​Total Acres:  310Containment: 50%

Injuries to Date:   1​​Structures Damaged/Destroyed:​0​​Total Personnel: 478

Assigned Resources:

Crews: 15​​Engines: 21​​Helicopters:3Air Tankers: 0

Evacuations: 0

Current:

KING CITY, Calif. – The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 am Tuesday, July 30, near Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and the intersection of California State Highway 1 in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest.  The fire has currently burned approximately 310 acres.  There are 478 firefighters on scene as part of a full response that includes engine crews, hand crews and air support. There is currently 50% containment. 

Overnight there was minimal fire activity. Today crews will continue suppression efforts and work to increase containment.  Water drops help cool the fire, reduce spread and contribute to suppression and containment.

There are currently no evacuations in effect and no structures threatened.  There has been one minor injury. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Road Closures:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is currently closed at Highway 1 and at the Fort Hunter Liggett Boundary to allow emergency equipment and fire engines to safely navigate the road.  

For additional Fire Information call Monterey Ranger District (831) 385-5434

This will be the last day I provide updates on this fire, unless there is a drastic change. One of my neighbors stopped by and said, “They get an A+ on the way they handled this fire.” Yes, they do. There are so many to thank for what they did, but I was not “on the line,” so I may not know the whole story, but it seems to me, the IC (Incident Commander) on this fire for the first 3 days deserves a lot of credit. They are the ones making the decisions, putting in the request for resources, and leading the effort. There were 2 ICs for the Mill Fire for those first critical 3 days — Tony Zavalla was the day IC and the night IC was Pete Harris of the USFS Nacimiento Station. Tony & Pete, you did a terrific job. I think you both showed them you were more than worthy of a promotion to be part of a Type 2 Incident Management Team. 

Besides Tony & Pete, we had the most cooperative agreement I have seen in my 30 years down here — USFS, Big Sur Fire, FHL, and Cal Fire working in coordinated effort, like a well-oiled (and trained) machine. While weather played no small part (no wind, fuels still moist), it was the professional men and women who put everything on the line each fire and each season that made the difference.

It was not just the paid professionals, but also the volunteer professionals who made a difference. Our volunteer fire department was one of the first on the scene, as they so often are.There was also the MCSO volunteer SAR (Search and Rescue) people who made sure all the back country hikers and campers were found and warned and brought out. Once they were, VWA sent volunteers down to staff the trail head to make sure no new hikers tried to go back there. Meaningful volunteerism is the sign of a healthy and civilized society. Big Sur is very healthy.

There are some lessons to be learned and shared from this fire, and I hope they are. Working together there is nothing we can’t accomplish. Team Big Sur — I salute you and tip my hat to your long hard hours of training and perseverance, and for caring so much for Big Sur. I wish I could meet and thank you all.

I know the season is not only not over, but just beginning, really, but I don’t think I have felt this safe in a very long time back here. My son, Brendon Shave, is “patrolling” many nights each week to educate the people he finds with illegal campfires. It makes a difference. No one person can patrol all of Big Sur EVERY night, but if we all chip in and do what we can, instead of waiting for some government agency to handle it, we can make a difference. Other neighborhoods have “neighborhood watches” we can establish “neighborhood fire watches.” Set up a meeting in your portion of Big Sur and set up fire patrols. Remember, polite and respectful works wonders with the uneducated and uninformed.  Feeling empowered and feeling safe is a wonderful feeling. This is our home. No one cares as much as we do, and no one takes care of it like we do. Let’s band together and take care of the problem, instead of just complaining. Signs aren’t the answer — they are often ignored. Education and knowledge are the answer. Educate in every contact you have with our visitors in a respectful manner. You will get the message across better if people listen and hear you, and they won’t listen if they are not being respected and honored. We need to change our attitude, if we expect others to change theirs.  

We got this, Big Sur. Let’s do it!

Mill Fire, Day 4, 8/2/19

Incident evening update, only changes are: no fix wing aircraft on fire, and containment has increased to 25%, acreage has not increased. Otherwise, all is going well.

The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 a.m. on July 30, 2019 on Mill Creek, north west of the Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road. As of this morning, 280 acres have burned with 20% containment. The fire is burning in chaparral, timber and tall grass. It is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Currently, there is no threat to communities, structures or to the public. Access into the area via roads and trails has been closed off.

There are currently 630 resources assigned to the fire, including:

Crews – 23
Engines – 26
Type 1 Helicopters – 3
Type 2 Helicopters – 2
Lead planes – 2
Fixed Wing – 1

Incident Information

Basic Information

Current as of8/2/2019, 11:07:51 AM
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginTuesday July 30th, 2019 approx. 05:30 AM
LocationNorthwest of Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road
Incident CommanderAnthony Zavalla
Incident DescriptionWildland Fire
Coordinates36.009 latitude, -121.467 longitude 

Current Situation

Total Personnel630
Size280 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained20%
Estimated Containment DateMonday August 05th, 2019 approx. 11:00 PM
Fuels InvolvedChaparral, timber and tall grass
Significant EventsFire behavior declined after midnight. Activity on the line decreased. Good recovery.

Outlook

Planned ActionsIncrease containment and keep the fire from crossing Nacimiento Ferguson Road to the south into the Ventana Wilderness and from getting into Mill and Kirk Creek drainages and north of Cone Peak.

Current Weather

Weather ConcernsTypical weather patterns along the Big Sur Coast line is to have a marine layer between 1000 to 1500 feet. Land above that elevation has no humidity recovery or influence from the marine layer, which increases fire behavior. High pressure continues to establish today with expected increase in temperatures and decrease of relative humidities.

Good Morning! Great day in the neighborhood, no smoke visible. Quiet start to the day, good night’s sleep, and some great aerials to upload (thanks to Chip Laugharn, USFS). An absolutely amazing stop to this fire in impossible terrain. The interagency cooperation between USFS, FHL, Big Sur Fire, and Cal Fire BEU was a big success. Huge thanks to all those in the field, in the air, and in the support positions, you all did an incredible job. I’ll post the incident report when it comes in this morning. In the mean time, enjoy the view! I also need to give a huge shout out to VWA volunteers for staffing the trailhead to keep people out of the back country and to the MCSO SAR volunteers for evacuating everyone in the back country. It really took a village to handle this one.

Photo credit for the five aerials below to Nic Elmquist. Fire Behavior Analysts- former Hotshot and Chief Officer from Los Padres National Forest. (Thanks, Chip)

Mill Fire, Day 3, 8/1/19

7:30 pm — final update for the day, unless something unusual happens.

Incident Information

Basic Information

Current as of8/1/2019, 7:04:06 PM
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginWednesday July 31st, 2019 approx. 05:30 AM — ERROR, IT STARTED TUES 7/30.
LocationNorthwest of Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road
Incident CommanderAnthony Zavalla
Incident DescriptionWildland Fire
Coordinates36.009 latitude, -121.467 longitude 

Current Situation

Total Personnel636
Size280 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained15%
Estimated Containment DateMonday August 05th, 2019 approx. 11:00 PM
Fuels InvolvedChaparral, timber and tall grass
Significant EventsIsolated torching of trees and minimal movement has been observed.

Outlook

Planned ActionsIncrease containment and keep the fire from crossing Nacimiento Ferguson Road to the south into the Ventana Wilderness and from getting into Mill and Kirk Creek drainages and north of Cone Peak.

Current Weather

Weather ConcernsTypical weather patterns along the Big Sur Coast line is to have a marine layer between 1000 to 1500 feet. Land above that elevation has no humidity recovery or influence from the marine layer, which increases fire behavior. The Mill Fire is located in this environment, contributing to increased fire behavior throughout the evening. High pressure is to begin establishing today with expected increase in temperatures and decrease in relative humidities.

USFS MILL FIRE INCIDENT REPORT AS OF 10 AM:

The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 a.m. on July 30, 2019 on Mill Creek, north west of the Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road. As of this morning, 280 acres have burned with 15% containment. The fire is burning in chaparral, timber and tall grass. It is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Currently, there is no threat to communities, structures or to the public. Access into the area via roads and trails has been closed off.

There are currently 676 resources assigned to the fire, including:

Crews – 23
Engines – 35
Type 1 Helicopters – 3
Type 2 Helicopters – 2
Lead planes – 2
Air Attack – 7

Basic Information

Current as of8/1/2019, 11:10:00 AM
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginWednesday July 31st, 2019 approx. 05:30 AM
LocationNorthwest of Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road
Incident CommanderAnthony Zavalla
Incident DescriptionWildland Fire
Coordinates36.009 latitude, -121.467 longitude 

Current Situation

Total Personnel676
Size280 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained15%
Estimated Containment DateMonday August 05th, 2019 approx. 11:00 PM
Fuels InvolvedChaparral, timber and tall grass
Significant EventsIsolated torching of trees and minimal movement has been observed.

Outlook

Planned ActionsIncrease containment and keep the fire from crossing Nacimiento Ferguson Road to the south into the Ventana Wilderness and from getting into Mill and Kirk Creek drainages and north of Cone Peak.

Current Weather

Weather ConcernsTypical weather patterns along the Big Sur Coast line is to have a marine layer between 1000 to 1500 feet. Land above that elevation has no humidity recovery or influence from the marine layer, which increases fire behavior. The Mill Fire is located in this environment, contributing to increased fire behavior throughout the evening. High pressure is to begin establishing today with expected increase in temperatures and decrease in relative humidities. 

This is what it looked like first thing this am:

Rocky came through, and he had a better view on the fire, and said there didn’t appear to be a lot of places burning, although he did see one tree go up. We are expecting a Type 2 federal team (sorry forgot the name) to take over at 10 am, meeting up in King City. Also expecting to bring in more ground personnel. Probably will establish the fire camp today, as well.

Inciweb was updated last night and lists containment at 10%. Typically, inciweb is updated twice a day — morning and evening. The link, for this incident is https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6478/

This is a google earth NOAA fire map I screen shot last night. Keep in mind that all those points of fire are not completely accurate as to placements due to distortion from the satellite, but this will give you a pretty good idea:

If you didn’t get a chance to see Michael Troutman’s stunning photos of the fire yesterday afternoon, scroll down for a treat.

Mill Fire, Day 2, 7/31/19

For Immediate Release

      Media Contact: Andrew Madsen

www.facebook.com/lpnf

Twitter: @LosPadresNF

Fire Update

U.S. Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Region

Los Padres National Forest
6750 Navigator Way
Goleta, CA 93117

http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf

MILL FIRE

July 31, 2019

AFTERNOON UPDATE

Date Started:​July 30, 2019​Cause: Under Investigation​Total Acres:​280​Containment:10%

Injuries to Date:   1​​Structures Damaged/Destroyed:​0​​Total Personnel:482

Assigned Resources:

Crews: 14​​Engines: 30​​Helicopters:5Air Tankers: 4

Evacuations: 0

Current:

The Mill Fire started July 30, 2019, at 5:36 AM near Lyons Creek along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road above California State Highway 1 on the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest. The fire is currently estimated to have burned 280 acres east of State Highway 1 and west of Cone Peak Road and is 10 percent contained. The fire is burning in tall, dry grass beds and becoming established in heavy fuels. There is no present threat to communities, structures or the public.

A full response including engines, hand crews and air support is actively suppressing the fire. Crews workedthroughout the night in steep, rugged terrain constructing containment lines. The east and west flanks of the fire have stabilized but the head of the fire continues to burn to the northeast.

Hand crews will continue suppression work today in tandem with air support to prevent the fire from burning further into the Ventana Wilderness. Where direct action is safe and will prove successful, crews will be using direct fireline suppression activities. In other areas, aircraft will be used to hold the fire in check. In some areas of the Mill Fire it is unsafe for firefighters to take direct action. 

Road/Trail Closures:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road between Highway 1 and Fort Hunter Liggett; Cone Peak Road; South Coast Ridge Road between Chalk Peak and Nacimiento-Fergusson Road; Vicente Flat and Mill Creek Trails

For additional Fire Information call Monterey Ranger District (831) 385-5434

​​​​​ 

​​​​​               ###​

3 pm — It is very quiet this afternoon. There had been a lot of aircraft flying when I laid down for a nap, but quiet, now. No visible smoke. I think we turned the corner on this.

As of 11:38 am LPNF posted this: “#MillFire has burned approximately 300 acres. Overnight it chewed through the retardant line. More than 300 firefighters on scene. @LosPadresNF will be ordering a team to assist with suppression.”

Also, there is finally an inciweb post on this fire, which they hope to have contained by tomorrow 11 pm. This is what it says: “The Mill Fire was reported at 5:36 a.m. on July 30, 2019 on Mill Creek, north west of the Ventana Wilderness off of Nacimiento Ferguson Road. As of this morning, 280 acres have burned with 10% containment. The fire is burning in chaparral, timber and tall grass. It is burning in steep and rugged terrain. Currently, there is no threat to communities, structures or to the public. Access into the area via roads and trails has been closed off.

There are currently 482 resources assigned to the fire, including:

Crews – 14
Engines – 30
Type 1 Helicopters – 3
Type 2 Helicopters – 2
Tankers – various 
Lead planes – 2
Air Attack – 7”

11:28 am —

11:28, 7/31/19

Current photo (10:55 am)

10:55 am, 7/31/19

9:15: There she goes!

9:15 am
8:55 am, Mill Fire, 7/31/19

8:45 am — fire is kicking up. Cone Peak Rd. is threatened. Here is what it looks like now. BTW, got the time changed on my DSLR so it is now accurate to a minute or two.

Mill Fire 7/31/19 at 8:45 am

8:30 am — This morning is starting out quiet, but no photos, yet. One big concern today is that the fire is pushing up against Cone Peak Rd. today, so that will be the area to watch. I may take a trip out to Prewitt later today, depending on what I see and hear. Gathering intel now.

Photo Gallery of the Mill Fire by Brendon Shave

Taken between 5:30 and 6 pm from Prewitt Ridge. Some amazing shots you will not want to miss.

I will be adding more photos to this post this evening. This new format makes me do them one-at-a-time, so more to come. The photo above is probably my favorite. It just says so much!