Lockheed (Santa Cruz) & La Brea Fires, 8/14/09

And unless something drastic happens tonight, I will leave you with this incredibly gorgeous photograph by Stan Russell of Santa Cruz. This was taken at 7:50 pm from the Surfer’s Museum at Steamer Lane. Thank you, Stan!!


7:30 pm- Fire updates: La Brea: “From South Ops fire was at 69,131 acres with 10% containment as of 17:45PST” Inciweb confirms the acreage. Another report indicates it is “cranking.” Lockheed: KRON reports they got a handle on the “blow out” in scott creek and last chance rd area. Still lots of smoke, good live feed on KRON’s website.

There are several other fires: Yuba, Corral, and Coffin which are affecting resources, but not the Central Coast, so I am not reporting on them here.

5:00 pm – Lockheed update – “Wind and fire activity picking up in the Scott Creek drainage, per Cal Fire having a “blow out” sending lots of resource to hold this last operational periods work. SC County covered in smoke.”

4:00 pm – A state of emergency has been declared for the Lockheed Fire, by the Lt. Governor of California this afternoon. La Brea continues to rage. It has grown 20K acres in the last 24 hours, according to one source.

3:00 pm – Thankfully, the smoke from the Lockheed Fire is drifting out to sea, and conditions to the north are improving considerably. Unfortunately, the smoke from the La Brea to the southeast is impacting us down here on the South Coast, as least visually. I no longer “smell” the smoke.

This is a photo of the Martin Mars over Lake San Antonio taken yesterday:

Only 5 Martin Mars ships were completed toward the end of WWII. Named the Marianas Mars, Philippine Mars, Marshall Mars, Caroline Mars, and a second Hawaii Mars, the 5 production Mars aircraft entered service ferrying cargo to Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

Three of the original five tankers either crashed, or were destroyed in a Typhoon, while docked. The two surviving tankers are based at Sproat Lake near Port Alberni. The Philippine Mars is undergoing “extensive maintenance and renovation” and will not be ready to fly again until 2010. As of August 13th 2009, the Hawaii Mars was in service fighting the La Brea fires on the Central Coast of California. This is the one known as Tanker 223.

Here is a classic fire shot of the La Brea Fire:

Picture of the La Brea Fire sent by John Snow (ORC Fire). on Twitpic by John Snow (ORC Fire)

Noon update – La Brea Fire. All hell has broken loose, if this GeoMac is accurate. Look at all the long range spotting:
cluster fuck-la brea
One of my most knowledgeable sources says the Los Alamos fires have been contained, and is therefore suspicious that the GeoMac is 4-8 hours behind realtime. Still, it is of real concern on this monster.

Here is a fabulous panoramic of the smoke from Lockheed drifting down hanging over our coast, Carmel Valley, and Los Padres National Forest. Photo by Kelly O’Brien, reporter for KUSP and resident of Jamesburg/Cachagua:


11:00 am – Lockheed update:

This thermal map shows where it jumped the Empire Grade:

Lockheed Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 14, 2009 10:55 am
Date/Time Started: August 12, 2009 7:16 pm
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit
County: Santa Cruz County
Location: Bonny Doon area – Smith Drainage
Acres Burned: 4,170 acres
Containment 4,170 acres – 5% containment
Structures Destroyed: 2 outbuildings damaged
Threatened: More than 250 residence are currently threatened in the Swanton and Bonny Doon communities.
Evacuations: Mandatory evacuations for Bonny Doon and Swanton affecting 2,000-2,400 people.
Cause: Under Investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, Santa Cruz County Sherriff
Total Fire Personnel: 676
Engines: 120
Fire crews: 16
Dozers: 15
Water tenders: 3
Costs to date: $ 750,000
Major Incident Command Team: CAL FIRE ICT #9
Conditions: Significant resources have been ordered for this incident. Problems and concerns include weather, steep terrain and limited access to the fire perimeter. Strong gusty onshore winds are predicted today, and could push the fire further to the east toward the community of Bonny Doon.
An evacuation center has been established at the Vintage Church at Hwy 1 and Mission. A large animal evacuation center has been set up at the Watsonville fairgrounds and a small animal evacuation center has been established at 7th & Rodriguez.

8:00 am – La Brea update: While most of the information on inciweb is from yesterday, they did provide an update on personnel and acreage. Impressive gains last night:

Current Situation
Total Personnel 1,859
Size 67,092 acres
Percent Contained 10%
Labbrea perimeter map
(“borrowed” from firefighterblogger’s twitter pics)

Having difficult finding any “official” updates on the Lockheed Fire this morning. Will post more when I know more.
6:30 am – reports are not in yet, as a smoky dawn just greeted me, but one report on twitter during the night indicates they “lost” the Horse Canyon line on La Brea. On the Lockheed Fire, I have seen little new information so far this morning. Will continue to track both during the day.