Dawn on August 3, 2009 Fires

3:30 pm update: Here is a link to the “raws” of temp/RH/fuel temps, etc.

11:50 Ponderosa Fire News Release posted under USFS Press Releases to the right.

11:00 am updates on Sam Jones & Ponderosa, my time. Fire time is 8:00 am. Sorry, my sources were late.

Sam Jones Fire:
Name: Sam Jones Fire
County: Monterey County
Location: Fort Hunter Leggitt Training Area 27
Administrative Unit: Army at Fort Hunter Liggett
Status/Notes: 2,500 acres – Unknown containment
Date Started: August 2, 2009 4:30 pm
Last update: August 3, 2009 8:00 am

08/03 @ 0800 (North Ops)
Ponderosa CA-LPF-2563, 350 acres, 0% containment. Central Coast Type -2 ICT (Smith) has been in briefed on the fire and has tentative transition scheduled for 0600 hour today is and team evaluating Unified Command with Fort Hunter Liggett. The fire is burning in grass and chaparral in steep inaccessible terrain in the Ventana Wilderness and may have the potential to burn 3,000 to 5,000 acres. 97 CALFIRE personnel are assigned adding to a total of 429 altogether.

9:00 am report. Sam Jones is looking pretty good. No plumes, just drift. Still plume for Ponderosa, but tremendous resources available and working it. According to one of my sources, Nacimiento Rd. is closed, but the fire hasn’t made it to the road, yet, just close. There are many, many fire resources using the road. It is in an area that did not burn during the Indians Fire. I have some photos of this morning’s drift from both fires, but no plumes.
Smoke from the Sam Jones this morning, around 7:30 am.
Drift from he Ponderosa this morning, around 7:45 am.

Only 5:30 am, but the dawn is beginning to show, and with it the smoke to the south east — a glow from the Sam Jones. Sometimes the atmospheric conditions from fires are so beautiful! My posts will be scattered throughout the day, as I have business to take care of, but will post as I obtain information about both the Ponderosa and the Sam Jones Fires.

Strike Teams are coming in from LA Co. FD today, as well as all the others that are already here and/or coming.

Jim Smith’s Type II IMT takes over the Ponderosa at 7 am this morning. What I like about this assignment is that Smith’s team was IMT for both the Indians Fire (June 2008) and the Chalk Fire (9-10/2009) so he knows this area quite well. Welcome, Jim!

Be safe out there!

Ponderosa Fire

10:30 am – “Radio traffic has it at 150 acres, Header can be seen for miles.” Now, I am really going to take a look. Back before noon, I hope. Will have phone, but there are many “dead zones” out there.

10:00 am – going off line for a bit to check on things in the back country. Call, if needed. Otherwise, back before 11 with a report. Oh, plume visible, but not particularly close. Don’t know direction of spread, but we have the old Chalk Fire between us and it, for the most part.

9:30 am – hearing lots of low-flying aircraft. I’ll be going out to open gate and go check the rear. Will take phone, but not computer, and will report back if I can see anything. From FHL-Capt. “75 acers 0% containment. Large orders for crews and aircraft. Steep and rugged terrain. Just outside Chalk Fire Burn from last year in Negro drainage.” (I think this had another name in the old days.)

9:15 am – Los Olivos Engine arrived at 7:30 am. Also, “Must have something going. Aircraft assigned to the incident: Bravo 2, AA502, T74, T75, C406, Helitanker706, C528, 3 AT on order.
Air tactics 166.675. Air to ground 170.000.”

9:00 am – found out what “cover” is. Ordered resources to come cover the two stations where the engines were from. E16 & E17. Also the exact coordinates of the fire are only near the Ponderosa campground. The exact lat & long is: 35 59 430 X 121 23 504

5:45 am – At 1:22 am, per WildCAD-LPNF, a resource order was issued for “Ponderosa Cover.” I have attempted to find out what that means, but have not been successful. It may mean simply an order for a PIO for this morning’s press release. I have found no other reports on this fire, which is a good thing. Inciweb is not reporting this fire. It has actually been quite chilly up here this am, also a good thing. The lack of available information supports a theory that the fire remained small and is under control. So, going back to sleep. Blessings, bigsurkate

Fire at Ponderosa Campground

Midnight – nothing being reported, significant or otherwise, so I’ll be signing off until morning. Blessings, bigsurkate

11:00 pm – no significant events being reported, so maybe the USFS will have a handle on it by the morning and we will all wake up to it being “old news.”

10:00 pm – I received a call from the new District Ranger, Sherry Tune, whom I just met yesterday, to give me a “heads-up” about this fire. It may have grown a little since initial reporting, but it is difficult to tell at night. She will be issuing a press release tomorrow morning, probably not until around 10 am. She will fax me a copy, which I will post here. She hasn’t been assigned a PIO, yet. She is brand-new, and only about 2 weeks into the job. It is her intention to keep locals fully informed. As a side note, I like her and others who have met her like her as well. It is a helluva welcome to the neighborhood, and she is literally being tested by fire.

9:30 pm – It began around 8:15 pm this evening, August 1st. It is approximately 4-6 acres, with a slow rate of spread. Two USFS Engines are on it right now. Ponderosa Campground, for those unfamiliar with the area, is several miles down from the summit, east on Nacimiento Rd. in the flats, by the river before one enters Ft. Hunter-Leggett.

Check back in in a couple of hours. I’ll try to report one more time, somewhere between 11 and midnight. Phone will be working all night. If necessary, I will start the gennie and stay online on and off throughout the evening.