Do not be fooled by the thick fog these last few days. It is not rain, and won’t lower the fire danger risk.
From Daniel Swain, Weather West (https://weatherwest.com/) : “Strong warming trend across California into weekend & next wk, w/record highs possible (into 80s & even 90s in few spots). Still no rain next 7-9 days. Beyond that, mixed signals. Modest possibility of precip, but also of offshore wind events. Which will come first?”
I finally bought myself a personal “weather station” like the ones firefighters carry. I got the 3000 because that is what a fire photographer online friend uses. Next time, the 3500. Here is what it will measure:
Long cord for hanging around neck, and a protective cover. This is what it looks like:
Only once or twice before do I remember campfires being banned inside the developed campgrounds of Plaskett Creek and Kirk Creek. This should give everyone an idea about how bad it is.
Los Padres National Forest officials raise fire restrictions GOLETA, Calif. – Due to extremely dry vegetation and an increasing fire danger, Los Padres National Forest officials announced that Extreme Fire Danger fire restrictions will go into effect immediately and remain in effect through December 31, 2019. The following restrictions will be rigorously enforced:
Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest, including designated Campfire Use sites. Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel only within the Designated Campfire Use Sites listed on Exhibit A. California Campfire Permits are available for free download from the Los Padres National Forest website (http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf).
Recreational target shooting is prohibited in all areas of the National Forest unless specifically authorized by a special use permit with the Forest.
Hunting with a valid State of California hunting license during open hunting season is exempt from the target shooting prohibition.
Smoking is prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated Campfire Use Site.
Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order on roads and trails specifically designated for such use. (This restriction is in effect year-round.)
Violators may face a fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail. For further information regarding current conditions and safety tips, please contact your nearest Forest Service office. A list of designated Campfire Use Sites is available on the Los Padres National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf or by contacting the Forest Service district office nearest you.
While north of us the fire risk is highest, all up and down the Big Sur Coast the fire danger on Sunday is high. From local weather forecaster Dann Cianca:
Sunday fire risk around the MontereyBayArea: Gusty winds over the hills along with very dry air will increase fire danger. If you’re in the highest risk area, be ready to leave your home in case of a fire and evacuate to a safe area. For all others, stay aware!
To give us just a bit of hope, two of the long-range prediction models are hinting at rain beginning 11/8. However, as is usual, the caveat is that these are long-range predictions which can change as we get closer.
From Daniel Swain, Weather West: “This is the kind of event that makes me personally nervous…and I don’t say that about all the events,” @Weather_West said. “Hopefully, we get lucky and there are no major ignitions. ….”
As of 5:30 pm, this fire is 75-100 acres, near Gaviota and El Camino Ranch. Highway 101 in both directions is being closed, Evacuations in progress. 40-50mph winds in the area. T74 T75 T76 T78 & T137 assigned. LPNF sent a number of resources. It is headed to the great fire break to the west…
As of 8:30 pm SLU said: [UPDATE] #CrossIC 35 Acres, potential for 100 acres in Monterey Co. burning south-south west towards #CountyofSlo. The fire is now burning into the Big Sandy State Wildlife Area. State wildlife officials are being notified.
This is visible from the 101 near Bradley. Here is a still from a video of it by Chad Dietz:
Here is the CHP entry:
Incident: 00302 Type: Report of Fire Location: Us101 N / Camp Roberts Loc Desc: INDIAN VLY JNO RIVER Lat/Lon: 35.798611 -120.741944
 VISIBLE FROM JEO THE HWY
 45B WILL BE GETTING LOTS OF CALLS ABOUT THE FIRE
My latest article for Voices of Monterey Bay is out. Here is the introduction:
I had an appointment on a Wednesday late last month with the Veterans Administration optometrist. It had been a while — six years, it turned out. I needed new glasses. It takes me two and one-half to three hours one way from Big Sur due to road construction and traffic. It is hard to do a round trip in a single day anymore.
The next day was the annual luncheon for the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. This is when they lay out the annual report for the current year, and the business plan for the next year. I find it valuable to understand the goals of this organization, how it’s intended to achieve them, and how MCCVB money is obtained and spent. Friday was the Democratic Women of Monterey County’s brunch with Adam Schiff. That afternoon, I had a second appointment with the VA optometrist.
Rather than fight traffic for three days, I stayed in town for those three nights so that I could accomplish all that I wanted to. which meant I only had to fight the traffic home on a single day; unfortunately it was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Sigh. I vowed to relax and enjoy it — but I couldn’t relax. People would suddenly pull over with no warning, no signaling, making everyone behind them slam on their brakes. At least there was no road construction. And blissfully, Bixby was fogged in, so the traffic jam there was only a minor irritation.
But once I got to the dirt road to my home, the challenges increased. Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Lots of traffic on a one-lane dirt road made for an interesting drive.
4 pm update — IC reports fire is now 150-175 acres. Strike team of type 3 engines requested, along w/ addl hand crews for today & tomorrow.
3:30 pm — Wildland Fire, Griswold Gun Range area, South of Panoche Road. Copter at scene, 75 acres, moderate rate of spread, light flashy fuels, steep terrain. Potential for 200 acres. This is roughly 1/2 between I-5 and Airline Highway on Panoche Road. Update: BC enroute requesting additional dozers, crews and 3 water tenders.