Lockheed-Santa Cruz Fire & La Brea Fire, 8/15/09

Cause of La Brea fire revealed. It was a cooking fire at an illegal marijuana grow site. See here for the full article: USFS Press Release

Last update of the evening, unless something untoward happens. First, here is a video of the La Brea Fire, set to music, about 8 mins. long: click here

And now, I leave you with one of Stan Russell’s signature sunset photos taken this evening from Scott Creek and Highway One:


6:00 pm – Lockheed: CalFire reports:
Acres Burned: 6,843 acres
Containment 6,843 acres – 40% containment
Structures Destroyed: 2 outbuildings damaged

La Brea: inciweb reports:

Current Situation
Total Personnel 1,980
Size 75,486 acres
Percent Contained 25%

And lest we forget, 30 years ago today, in an area quite near to the currently burning La Brea fire, 4 firefighters lost their lives on the Spanish Ranch Fire on August 15, 1979. They were: Captain Ed Marty, and firefighters Scott Cox, Ron Lorant and Steve Manley. While lessons learned over the years have increased the safety of the firefighters on the line, let us never forget how truly dangerous firefighting is.

9:30 am – Lockheed Fire Incident Command reports: 6,800 acres, 30% containment.

8:00 am – inciweb is reporting the La Brea fire exceeds 75K acres, still 10% containment. CalFire still lists Lockheed at 5K+ with 15% containment.
Lockheed GeoMac from this morning’s 3 am pass:
Here’s the GeoMac for La Brea:
7:30 am – Another day, and still fires, even more of them. (The Yuba Fire started yesterday afternoon.) The two on the Central Coast are the only two I can blog about. Lockheed was reported at 5K+ acres and 15% contained as of 10pm last night, per CalFire. The Governor scheduled to tour the area today. La Brea, again as of last night was estimated at over 69K acres with 10% containment. Evacuation Orders in effect for both fires. Winds and heat will be factors for both fires today. As updates arrive, I will post here.

USFS photo of the flames at La Brea Fire:
flames, la brea

Helicopter in action:
La Brea Fire Helicopter

Big Creek Fire/Santa Cruz

Midnight-thirty, and last post of the evening. Per SO 2000+ acres and moving towards davenport. XMY 2175A Enroute from Monterey County Code 3 (Type 1 ST) to Scotts Valley Fire Station #1. 11:59pm. Depts, Presido, Marina,Salinas Rural, Salinas,North County. STL North County. [ed note: Code 3 is lights AND sirens, so we are in critical mode here]
Despite that, I must get some sleep, knowing when I wake up, this will be a whole ‘nuther critter.

11:00 pm Extreme Fire Behavior. Name changed from Lockheed to Big Creek Fire, so the title of my post did, as well. Not the Big Sur Big Creek, the Santa Cruz Big Creek. This fire is moving so fast it is hard to keep up with it. Lots of resources ordered for tomorrow morning.

Raw footage here

10:30 pm = Reverse 911 calls going out. S/Ts being called in for structure protection. Anticipated the fire, which is over 1000 acres now will hit Swanton Rd. by about 11:30 pm and confirmed, heading toward Davenport.

10:00 pm – Recon is suggesting that if this keeps up its sw push, it is heading toward Davenport on Highway One.

9:30 pm – and from wildlandfire: “Per IC fire has doubled in size 60-80 ac wind on it with some crowning, potential for 300-400 ac. Fuels in this area large redwood, brush, and grass.”

8:30 pm – Oh, damn, another fire. I have NOT confirmed the information yet, but so far, it is being reported at 40 + acres, 40 mile an hour winds at summit, two structures burned. I’ll look for additional info. Scanner is indicating 30 acres, and sounding positive re controlling fire. Let’s hope this one is contained tonight. Resources are scattered.