Recovery Information

Monterey County has put together an online page with recovery information for those in the Pfeiffer fire area. Information about re-entry, clean up, steps to take after a fire emergency and contact information for both Planning/Building and Environmental Health are there. Some good general information and links to winter storm preparations, resource guides and protecting yourself from scams as well.

Let me know if there is anything else that should be listed. As new information comes up, we will update.

County Recovery Information

Maia Carroll
Communications/Outreach
Monterey County
carrollm@co.monterey.ca.us

Pfeiffer Fire, Day 4 – Official Announcements

Pfeiffer Fire
Los Padres National Forest December 19, 2013 10:00AM UPDATE

Fire Information Phone: (831) 667-0951

Incident: Pfeiffer Fire, started on December 16, 2013
Location: Pfeiffer Ridge Area, Big Sur, CA
Agency Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service.
Cooperating Agencies: Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, CalFire, Monterey County Sheriff, OES, CHP, Red Cross, Cal Trans
Current Size: 917 Acres Cause: Under Investigation
Containment: 79% Est. Containment: 12-20-2013
Current Resources: Crews: 31 Engines: 67 Dozers: 2 Helicopters-7 Air tankers: As Needed
Total Personnel: 1,007
Last Night’s Activities: Crews made good progress mopping up and strengthening lines in all divisions. Structure defense preparation continues as well. The expected strong winds accompanying the cold front moved over the fire about 10:00 pm. The stronger winds created a greater risk to firefighters from falling trees, so crews were pulled off the lines to safety points and the fire was in a monitoring status for the remainder of the shift. Scattered rain occurred over the fire area.

Current Situation: Today’s resources continue to improve, mop up and hold lines in all divisions and provide structure protection where needed. Also, efforts will be made to complete containment line on the north end of the fire’s perimeter to tie in remaining open fire line.

Damage assessment teams are going out today to verify addresses and fire damage, as well as damage to infrastructure such as power, sewer and water.

The demobilization process started yesterday for excess firefighting resources.

Weather: High pressure will build Friday through the weekend bringing a warming trend with temperatures in the 60’s and much drier relative humidity, near 20%-30%.

Evacuations: Evacuations of residences in Pfeiffer Ridge Community from Sycamore Road on the south to Clear Ridge on the north, to Highway 1 on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west continue.

An Evacuation Watch was issued by Monterey County Sheriffs for the area west of Highway 1 from Fernwood Resort to River Inn is still in effect.

Community Meeting: Scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4:00 pm. at the Big Sur Station,
Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Road Closures: Sycamore Road, Pfeiffer Ridge Road, and the road from River Inn to intersection with Pfeiffer Ridge Road. HIGHWAY 1 remains OPEN with delays. Between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Highway 1 will be one lane, while crews are working along the highway. Situational Awareness while driving is encouraged due to increase. BE SAFE!

Closures: Andrew Molera State Park is closed.

Evacuee Assistance: The Information Center established at Fernwood Resort by the Red Cross closed Wednesday. People needing assistance from the Red Cross should call 831-320-9989 or Big Sur Community Hotline: 831-667-2679, hours 9:30am-7:30pm, open through the weekend.

Pfeiffer Fire, Day 4 – a local’s perspective

7:00 am – I did not hit the bottom of my dirt road until after dark. I had wanted to get there before, but it just wasn’t in the realm of possibilities. When the fog swirls in the dark wind, bouncing off headlights, it can be treacherous. It was last night. What normally takes 45 minutes, took twice that. Visibility was down to zero in places. The damp fog still covers this ridge top this morning. I hope Pfeiffer has the same thing. The winds maxed out at 35 mph shortly before 6 am. They have completely calmed now, an hour later. I pray that the containment lines at the Pfeiffer Fire held, and containment is still at 74% this morning. I will check in with others and report back what I discover.

Pfeiffer Fire, Day 3 – official announcements

7:00 pm UPDATE AND EVENING WRAP-UP – From Kathleen Lee of Supervisor Potter’s Office:

Kate,
Sorry this is so late, I got stuck at the community meeting dealing with several time sensitive issues. Before I leave the Valley, here are the basics.
843 acres burned at 74% containment. 879 personnel on fire. Highway One remains open with sporadic traffic controls when necessary.
Hoping for full containment as early as late Thursday if lines pass their wind testing tonight. Winds are expected to peak between 12-5 am. Embers may travel up to 3/4 mile, so residents are asked to be vigilant. Crews will be mopping up lines on Division A and Division Zulu. Pfeiffer Ridge will continue to be patrolled for flareups tonight and additional crews along Sycamore Cyn. Division C is all black line and Division Whiskey is mostly buttoned up.
BSFB working embedded with USFS teams to patrol ridges and IC appreciates local knowledge.
Red Cross shut down at Fernwood as of 5 pm, will operate mobile units that will come to those in need of aid, including mental health or housing assistance. 831-320-9989
County Mental Health Crisis team is activated, contact the Health Center for
details.
County will be doing damage assessments tomorrow to determine when residents will be allowed back to the ridges. Planning, Building and Environmental Health staff will be evaluating each property for structural safety as well as water and septic functionality. IC Nunez said it is likely to be up to 48 hours before residents will be allowed back onto the ridges.
There was no updated structure loss numbers provided as the IC wants to give out accurate information.
Butch reiterated CPOA ability to provide assistance if people have list housing. NRCS and RCD staff in Big Sur to start work on post fire remediation/erosion projects.
State Dept of Insurance Investigators in Big Sur to help people from being victims if insurance fraud. 1-800-927-HELP for assistance with vetting insurance and public adjusters. I have a flyer that I will work to get posted to County site and shared with you.
I think that is the meeting in a nutshell. Let me know if you have questions.
Kathleen
Sent from my iPhone
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Red Cross to Close Client Service Center at Fernwood Resort Big Sur tonight

CARMEL, CA (December 18, 2013) – The American Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter will close the Client Service Center located at the Fernwood Resort Big Sur at 5 p.m. tonight but will continue to provide client services to evacuated residents with two Red Cross response vehicles in the area on Thursday and Friday.

Local volunteers began working closely with local officials on Monday to help those affected by the Pfeiffer Wildfire in Big Sur, California. Volunteers provided food, emotional support, and information to those who had to evacuate their homes. Trained Red Cross caseworkers met with those affected by the fire to address their individual needs and provide services and other information.

IF YOU NEED HELP
Two Red Cross response vehicles will be in the Big Sur area to provide client services and resources on Thursday and Friday. Affected residents, who need assistance, can call the 24-hour Red Cross Client Assistance hotline at 831-320-9989 to speak with a Red Cross caseworker.

Also, Red Cross has indicated that they can help with a Monty’s rent for those who lost their homes.
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Incident: Pfeiffer Fire, started on December 16, 2013
Location: Pfeiffer Ridge Area, Big Sur, CA
Agency Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service.
Cooperating Agencies: Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, CalFire, Monterey County Sheriff, OES, CHP, Red Cross, Cal Trans
Current Size: 769 Acres* Cause: Under Investigation
*(Increase in acreage is a result of updated mapping)
Containment: 20% Est. Containment: 12-20-2013 at 6:00 pm
Current Resources: Crews: 29 Engines: 51 Helicopters-9 Air tankers: 5 are Available Dozers: 2
Total Personnel: 879
Last Night’s Activities: The fire was most active along the southern perimeter of the fire bordered by Sycamore Road and the fire continued to creep slowly on the eastern flank along Highway 1.
Current Situation: Today’s crews will take advantage of more favorable weather ahead of predicted low front for tonight, to complete and connect containment lines on the southwestern, southern and the eastern flanks of the fire’s perimeter.

The weather front that is expected to move over the fire late tonight will bring with it a shift in winds, from the southwest to the northwest, increasing and gusting up to 25 mph.

A preliminary assessment was able to confirm that 24 structures were saved and 22 residences were destroyed by the fire.

Evacuations: Evacuations of residences in Pfeiffer Ridge Community from Sycamore Road on the south to Clear Ridge on the north, to Highway 1 on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west continue.

An Evacuation Watch was issued this afternoon by Monterey County Sheriff the area west of Highway 1 from Fernwood Resort to River Inn. An Evacuation Watch is issued as a warning to people within the affected area that a threat of life and property exists. People issued this type of warning are NOT required to evacuate.

Community Meeting: Scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 pm. at the Big Sur Station, Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

Road Closures: Sycamore Road, Pfeiffer Ridge Road, and the road from River Inn to intersection with Pfeiffer Ridge Road. HIGHWAY 1 remains OPEN! Situational Awareness while driving is encouraged due to increase in emergency vehicles accessing the fire area. BE SAFE!
Closures: Molera State Park is closed.
Additional Information For:
Evacuee Assistance: Red Cross has established an Information Center (831-320-9989 ) for evacuees at Fernwood Resort, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA
Big Sur Community Hotline: 831-667-2679, hours 9:30am-7:30pm. Open through the weekend
Air Quality: For information on Air Quality go to www.mbuapch.org .

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Here is information to share from Office of Emergency Services:

Conditions permitting, county damage assesment teams will go with fire officers into burned areas tomorrow, Wednesday, house-by-house to determine safety as well as inspect water and septic systems. These are staff from Environmental Health as well as Planning departments. (note from Kate – received an email from Aegnus that the county was expediting the permit process for those who lost homes, and that Arden, who worked closely with the County for homes lost in the Basin Fire, is again working closely with them during this process.)

From the SPCA of Monterey County – SPCA folks will be at the General Store starting at about noon Wednesday with dog and cat food for those who had to evacuate with their pets but without supplies.

Maia Carroll

Please share with all that the county’s crisis counseling team is available to those who are experiencing stress and need assistance to handle this crisis. This service is available to both citizens and first responders. The counseling contact line is 831-755-4111.

Maia Carroll

Dramatic Photos at Highway One and Pfeiffer

Just taken at 11 am, I am just uploading without editing, and will post immediately, and then add more photos. I am hanging out at the Roadhouse where they are taking such good care of everyone, including me. I am probably not going to town today. I filled up at Fernwood, and will go home when I am done up here today. I need to get out of the smoke, and I need some rest.

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Pfeiffer Fire, Day 3 – a local’s perspective

8:00 pm – a locals’s perspective. I have made it home to the quiet, the wet fog, and little smoke. I have posted everything I wanted to or needed to for today … More than the three different posts I intended because I had so many photos of mine and Jeff’s I wanted to share. It is amazing how intense three days can be. I am so grateful to my community for their strength, compassion, and organization. Being a part of it is such a blessing. The LA Times did an article which shows this unusual community in our finest hours. I am very grateful that you all – Big Surians at heart, in the past or in the present – allow me to provide a service that many find valuable. It is my honor to be useful doing what I enjoy.

5:00 pm – here is what CPOA is sending out:
Hello Everyone,

Progress is being made on the fire and CPOA is aggressively moving forward in setting up the necessary steps that will be needed in the aftermath of this fire. Following is one of the first of those steps, site assessment.

Tentatively tomorrow, Thursday December 19th, if it is safe to do so, Monterey County officials from Planning, Building and Environmental Health will be conducting site assessments inside the burn area to determine if it is safe for people to re-populate. The criterion to be used to determine if it is safe revolves around :

1. Is the housing structurally safe.
2. Is the water system working and is it safe to drink.
3. Is the sanitary system (septic) operational.

Each situation will be assessed a color coded grade with Red being not inhabitable, Yellow safe to enter but not cleared for habitation and Green, safe for habitation.

As was the case during the Basin Fire in 2008, the County will not be looking at code enforcement issues of any kind nor concerning itself with whether or not a particular structure was permitted.

As part of the assessment process that will take place, Environmental Health will be taking ash samples for analysis to determine if the fire debris can be accepted at the Marina Landfill and treated as simple household waste. This was a protocol that was followed during the Basin Complex Fire.

On to the fire, the weather conditions have changed significantly since yesterday. There is a mid to upper level storm coming in that will hopefully bring precipitation to the area and help put a damper on the fire. Following is some general information about the fire and its progress.

As of this writing (11 AM Wednesday morning 12-18-13) the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire is active and generally within a geographic boundary that is bounded by Highway 1 to the East, Sycamore Canyon to the South, Bear Killed 2 Calves Creek (Middle Ridge) to the West and the Clear Ridge Road from Brewers Bridge to the intersection of Middle Ridge.

The fire has burned nicely down to the Highway,leaving all the big Oaks and Redwoods but cleaning up the understory,posing no risk for spreading further East. Inside that perimeter however, the fire continues to make runs up and down the various steep drainages and hog back ridges. Back firing is also underway in Sycamore Canyon and from Highway 1 back up the Pfeiffer Ridge Road.

The humidity has gone way up and the temperature, as forecast is in the low 50’s with wind generally non existent except that which is created by the fire. There is even a slight chance of rain later today. However, all of that is predicted to change over night and through Friday, when this cold front passes and a strong Northwesterly wind is progg’ed to kick in over the still active fire.

Be advised, this wind condition could significantly raise the chances for the spread of live embers in the direction of Rancho Rico, Post Ranch, Coastlands, Nepenthe and areas South and East of those locations.

The best way we can prepare for this is to make sure your gutters and roofs are clear of flammable debris and if possible, be on your property or have people on your property to monitor and extinguish small spot fires, if they occur.

Folks, there is every possibility that this wind event could fizzle out, the fire could lay down, it could miraculously rain or …… However, it does not hurt to be pro-active and exercise an abundance of caution by a heightened sense of awareness of a changing and fluid situation.
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1:00 pm – well, there goes the living room, locals feel of The Roadhouse. The Associated Press out of SF just showed up, and locals have fallen quiet.

7:00 am – (Kate) Stayed with a friend in the State Park last night. Went outside late, and immediately called her out, as I could see a wall of glowing fire bearing down from across Highway One. We knew we were okay, as the ICC was between us and the fire. But it was quite the site. it is amazing how beautiful something so destructive can be! Hundreds of CDCR ff inmates were between us and the fire.

20131218-072105.jpg (From yesterday) so we knew we were fine, but very eerie.

I, personally, and the blog itself, have been absolutely inundated. Over 18,000 visitors Monday, and over 15,000 Tuesday. Debbie has been personally overwhelmed by the fire and the loss for so many friends and may have dumped your comment before it got posted. If so, we apologize. We will continue to do our best today. My morning will be spent getting more photos and stories, then running up to town for supplies, then back home by this evening. I will post what I know or see when I can. Keep the faith, prayers and thoughts coming.

Pfeiffer Fire, Day 2 – official announcements

Basics from the meeting: 769 acres burned, 24 structures lost, 20% contained. full containment expected by Friday.

Please share with all that the county’s crisis counseling team is available to those who are experiencing stress and need assistance to handle this crisis. This service is available to both citizens and first responders. The counseling contact line is 831-755-4111.

Maia Carroll

2:00 pm –
ICP Advises Evacuation Watch is being issued for residents West of Hwy 1 between Fernwood and River Inn. Notices are being delivered in person by LE. This is advisory only.
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Community Meeting sponsored by BSVFB this afternoon at 4:00 at MAF. I plan on attending.
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Pfeiffer Fire
Los Padres National Forest December 17, 2013 8:00 AM
UPDATE
Fire Information Phone: (831) 667-0951

Incident: Pfeiffer Fire, started on December 16, 2013
Location: Pfeiffer Ridge Area, Big Sur, CA
Agency Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service.
Cooperating Agencies: Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, CalFire, Monterey County Sheriff
Current Size: 550 Acres Cause: Under Investigation
Containment: 5% Structures Threatened: Residences-200 Commercial Property-20 Outbuildings/Other-20

Current Resources: Crews: 18 Engines: 44 Helicopters & Airtankers: Are Available Dozers: 8
Total Personnel: 495

Last Night’s Observed Fire Activities: Fire continues to be active at night in the Pfeiffer Ridge community and on the south flanks backing down towards Sycamore Road.

Current Situation: Today crews continue to be challenged by the steep and inaccessible terrain, narrow roads and erratic fire behavior. Firefighter and public safety are the highest priorities.

Crews will continue to attack the fire directly, build containment lines around the perimeter of the fire, improve on lines built yesterday and provide structure protection.

Central Coast Team 7, Incident Commander Nunez, assumed command of the Pfeiffer Fire this morning at 6:00 am.

Evacuations: Pfeiffer Ridge Community from Sycamore Road on the south to Clear Ridge on the north, to Highway 1 on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

Multiple structures were consumed or damaged during the first few hours of Pfeiffer Fire, however the extent of the damage is unknown until an accurate assessment is made.

Road Closures: Sycamore Road, Pfeiffer Ridge Road, Clear Ridge Road, and the road from River Inn to intersection with Pfeiffer Ridge Road. HIGHWAY 1 remains OPEN! Situational Awareness while driving is encouraged due to increase in emergency vehicles accessing the fire area. BE SAFE!

The Red Cross has established an Information Center (831-320-9989 ) for evacuees at Fernwood Resort, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

A community meeting for the residents Big Sur is scheduled for 4:00 pm today at Big Sur Station, Highway 1, Big Sur, CA

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Red Cross Opens Client Service Center in Response to Pfeiffer Wildfire in Big Sur

CARMEL, CA (December 16, 2013) – Early this morning, the American Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter volunteers began working closely with local officials to help those evacuated by Pfeiffer Wildfire in Big Sur, California. Volunteers were on the scene all day providing food, emotional support, and information to those who had to evacuate their homes.

IF YOU NEED HELP
A Red Cross Client Services Center will opened to provide affected residents with needs assessment, information, replacement medications, and other recovery resources on Tuesday, December 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fernwood Resort Big Sur, 47200 Highway 1, Big Sur. The center will be open daily for the next few days. The Evacuation Center, which opened this morning at the Grange Hall, is closing tonight.

Affected residents, who need emergency assistance outside of the regular Client Services Center hours, can call the 24-hour Red Cross Client Assistance hotline at 831-320-9989 to speak with a Red Cross caseworker.