From Daniel Swain, Weather West: “Well, this is some terrible timing: on top of continued record heat today and beyond, risk of thunderstorms with dry lightning also rising. High-res models depicting pretty widespread elevated convection central and northern California. Major fire weather threat… “
…“I expect sustained extreme temperatures of this magnitude to produce widespread human health, wildfire, and electrical power supply impacts. Some of these impacts will undoubtedly be amplified by the ongoing pandemic. This will be an event to take quite seriously.“
I found myself breathing in and out more easily tonight, Sunday night, than I have in a long time. I am relaxing. My shoulders are coming down from my ears to their more natural position. The USFS closed the four most popular roads in Big Sur on the South Coast. And we breathe a breath of relief.
I live on one of those roads — the one that had 2 fires in June. COVID has changed things everywhere, and here is no exception. There are those who are angry. They feel entitled to camp and party and off-road in what was once a pristine area of Big Sur. Since COVID, it has been much more like downtown LA or SF — before the COVID. I understand humanity has thinned out in these metropolitan areas. I think they all came here.
The road closure is for safety and road preservation. Three of the four roads have been destroyed by more traffic than the roads were designed to support, and by people trying to drive on a 4×4 road in a two-wheeled drive car. The roads can’t take that. They dig holes, trying to get unstuck. They block the roads for emergency vehicles and residents trying to get to work or just to town for supplies.
What this news story linked below does not talk about is the silent disco with hundreds of people present on one ridge, with no toilet facilities and no trash facilities held on Prewitt only two weeks earlier. This one blocked roads to residences and to places where illegal campfires are created on the weekend.
Our Fire Captain, Marcus Foster, and the USFS Public Information Officer. Andrew Marsden, explain the problems well in this news story. The two overdoses on Prewitt Ridge this past Saturday night demonstrated so clearly how dangerous it is for both residents and visitors as well as to Big Sur herself.
5 Pm — Just broke out in the Parkhill Road area just North of Santa Margarita Lake and Pozo. In just minutes it grew to 15 acres. Structure into brush. SLU responding. Other structure threatened and this one has a DROS. (Dangerous Rate of Spread)
6 pm — BranchFire making new run blowing out to the east on the left flank with a wind shift felt here at CaliforniaValley as well as a new run near the head to the south on the right flank.
A wildfire in the Soda Lake area of the California Valley went from 3 acres to 1500 acres in about two hours. Highway 58 is now closed. Ongoing structure threats and pushing into BLM land. VLAT requested.
Mineral Fire in Fresno Co now 23,000 acres & 30% contained. 4 structures now destroyed, 60 remain threatened. 1,400+ FF’s assigned to the incident. And Big Sur’s own Fire Chief, Matt Harris is part of a Charlie Strike Team that has been sent to the fire.