Sam Jones Fire, Day 2 (8/3/09)

11:00 pm update. And tonight, just before I sign off, I would like to post a photograph one of my readers sent of the Sam Jones Fire, taken between 4 and 4:30 pm this afternoon. It was taken from up behind Hearst Castle, from a place called Rocky Butte Truck Trail. Photo by Carl Brandt of Cambria. Posted here with permission.

Sam Jones Fire

Isn’t that just spectacular? Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Carl!

Here’s a thermal from CalFire:
Sam Jones Thermal

8 pm update: “Catching scanner traffic from Monterey County Com they are Sending Local Goverment Engines to the fire Code 3. Did not Catch identifiers.”

Sorry, I am running later and later, as I am working this evening, and only checking in the between times. CalFire reported: (note the diversion for a new start??)

Update: 08-03-09 1730hrs -Structures threatened. The fire is still on post. Calfire is setting up in the Bryson area just in case it gets that far. Approx 4500 acres, 55% containment. SRA threatened as fire jumped the line again.
The Sam Jones fire is burning within the confines of the U.S. Army’s Fort Hunter Liggett.
Structure Group just ordered up two Type 3 Strike Teams ASAP, BEU sending ST 9430 C to the fire code-3.
Aircraft were just diverted from this incident to a new start on Hunter-Ligget with structures threatened.

CAL FIRE Sam Jones Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 3, 2009 8:00 am
Date/Time Started: August 2, 2009 4:30 pm
Administrative Unit: Army at Fort Hunter Liggett
County: Monterey County
Location: Fort Hunter Leggitt Training Area 27
Acres Burned: 4500 acres,
Containment: 55% containment

7 pm update from wildfire: ” The fire is still on post [FHL]. Calfire is setting up in the Bryson area just in case it gets that far. Approx 4500 acres, 55% containment. SRA threatened as fire jumped the line again.” Byrson Hesperia and Copperhead have been evacuated. Also there appears to be no growth on the Ponderosa today, still about 500 acres.

Here is a quick sketch of the area from the Bryson Hesperia Resort
Bryson Hesperia Resort

3:30 pm update: Information indicates that the spot, 1/2 to 1 mile in front of the Sam Jones was on the south end. Here is a link to the “raws” of temp/RH/fuel temps, etc. on FHL:

3:00 pm update: Sam Jones Fire -At 1337hrs. Fire has jumped the line, 1/2 to 1 mile spot. S/T [strike team] of Calfire engines e/r [en route]. Looking into aircraft and crews. Fire has moved into SRA, [State Responsibility Area] going unified command. BEU dispatching a high dispatch to the area. Moving into Bryson / Hesperia area. (per wildlandfire) Per LPNF new fire listed at 1345 hrs, probably one and the same.

Editor’s note: WildCAD has been wildly unreliable the last couple days. Unified command is a good thing, as it will be easier to get info than it is when it is only an Army command.

Due to the changed circumstances this afternoon, around 1:45 pm, I am moving the Sam Jones updates to this post, and will continue with updates, as they become available.

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!

Sam Jones Fire on Ft. Hunter-Liggett

7:00 pm – just got back from scoping both this fire, and the Ponderosa, with photos, of course. Wow, the Sam Jones Fire put up some amazing smoke today. Here are a couple of the Sam Jones:



I have confirmed with the District Ranger that there IS a new fire east of the Ponderosa. It is being aggressively attacked at this moment. It was originally posted to WildCAD at 16:01 pm. Per visuals and thermals, this new fire is way south, and is east of Ponderosa. Plume is HUGE! Going to get photos.

I have also confirmed, with two separate reliable sources (BSVFB and USFS) that the report of a fire 16 miles south of Nepenthe was found to be NOT true. It was a fog bank, that got dark, and looked to the RP to be fire.

So, with our first real major fire of the season, it is very important to check information, probably more than once, to make sure it is accurate. We are all on edge here, folks.

I’ll post more when I know more.