La Brea Fire Update, 8/11/09

3:00 pm – I reproduce this report from the Interagency Fire Center because of the percentage of growth from yesterday. What a jump!! Also note the # of acres is inaccurate, as inciweb was sayin 20,622 early this morning, and I am sure it continues to grow, as we can all attest from the increasing smoke. One, unconfirmed, report was that there was a blow-up some time this morning.

Fire Information Report for La Brea
Wildland Fire Incident
Report Date: 11-AUG-09
Burnt Area: 14,778 Acres (491% increase from yesterday)
Location: Santa Barbara County, CA (21 miles East of Santa Maria)
Cause: Under Investigation
Incident Team Type: IMT Type 1
Team Leader: J. Pincha-Tulley
Containment Status: 0% contained)
Expected Containment: Unknown
Fuels: Also present in some areas are Fuel Model 1 Sh 0.00 1634

Fire report information is based on the most recent Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR) provided by the National Interagency Fire Center and is subject to change. The USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center is not responsible for the accuracy of this information.
2:00 pm – Effective at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 11, 2009, an Evacuation Order was issued by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for the following areas due to fire activity of the La Brea Fire: Western Boundary: Sierra Madre Road. Southern Boundary: Cottonwood Road · Eastern Boundary: Highway 166 · Northern Boundary: Spoor Canyon This area includes Moon and Eckert Canyons. Fire officials contacted the 14 occupied ranches in the area last night and they are moving livestock as necessary. The majority of the area is very lightly populated. The new mandatory Order replaces the previous Evacuation Warning for the same area issued earlier today. An Order is defined as instructing community members in a defined area to leave the area immediately due to a threat to life and property from an emergency incident. In addition. the Evacuation Warning area is now moved to include areas bounded by Cottonwood Road and Wasioja Road, between Highway 166 and Sierra Madre Road. Evacuation Warning means people in the warning area need to be prepared to leave should the situation change. Fire managers will alert the Sheriff Office if fire behavior in the future requires a change to the warning status.

Fire officials contacted the 14 occupied ranches in the area last night [re: the evacuation warning] and they are moving livestock as necessary. The majority of the area is very lightly populated.

A great video of the event yesterday by the local NBC affiliate can be seen here:

La Brea Fire

7:00 am – from this morning’s inciweb update:

Current Situation
Total Personnel 1,062
Size 20,622 acres
Percent Contained 10%
Fuels Involved
Primarily Chaparral with with areas of short grass and timber.
Fire Behavior
Fire has sloped over the line in the Timber Peak area along Sierra Madre Ridge. There is 290 acre slope over in Moon Canyon.
Significant Events
Closure order no. 09-13-5100-10 is in effect for areas in and around the fire.
Planned Actions
Crews with improve and construct line on the southeast side of the fire and hold and mop up on the Sierra Madre Road and construct direct line along Horse Canyon. Self sufficient crews will build fire line until the end of their operational period and remain at or near the point while off duty and begin building fireline during their next shift where they left off. This is referred to as “Coyote Tactics”.
Growth Potential
Terrain Difficulty
California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 has assumed command of the fire. (Pincha-Tulley’s team)

La Brea Wildfire (E. of Santa Maria)

Inciweb for this incident;

Editorial Comment: Inciweb reported at 7 pm the fire was 10K acres, which equates to 15 sq. miles. Frankly, I have trouble believing that a fire that was doubling in size all morning long did not gain any acreage over a 6 hour period. Granted, these are all “estimates” but these air attack guys and gals get pretty good at estimating these fires.

08/09/2009 @1730
FLASH!….There are reports that flames can now be seen from the Spanish Ranch area of Highway 166. Crews continue to hold the fire at the Sierra Madre Ridge. Incident command is working to provide an updated acreage figure. (inciweb)

1:00 pm – Air Attack estimates the fire at 10,000 acres. Column can be seen in Bakersfield. Drift smoke here.

12:00 noon – “Per ops radio traffic, fire possibly estimated at 5000-6000 acres per AA.” on wildlandfire

11:30 am – drift smoke, but no plume visible this far away. Fire moving north. T

Approximately 9:30 this am inciweb reported:
Current Situation
Total Personnel 362
Size 2,500 acres
Fuels Involved Chaparral
Fire Behavior The fire pushed out in all directions last night and major runs as well as spotting were observed.
Significant Events No action was taken during the evening due to the lack of an anchor point, inaccessable terrain and extreme fire behavior.
Planned Actions Establish anchor points.
Growth Potential Extreme
Terrain Difficulty Extreme
Other reports indicate this area hasn’t burned since 1966, and reports are that everyone is gearing up for the long haul.
CA-IMT #3 (Pincha-Tulley) has been assigned.

08/09/2009 @0500
Morning update in progress….
The La Brea Fire, which started yesterday at 2:50 pm, continues to burn in an area of the San Rafael Wilderness that is very steep and difficult to reach on the ground.
The fire moved very rapidly yesterday and long range spotting ahead of the main body of the fire was observed. Bulldozers and crews worked to prepare an area along the Sierra Madre Road to be used as a fire break, should the fire reach there. Eight fixed wing air tankers along with five helicopters were utilized to battle the blaze from the air. Aircraft will again be used on the fire today, just as soon as the sun comes up and it is light enough to launch them from their bases.
Fire behavior is expected to increase today with the high temperature and low relative humidity that is predicted.

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Location 26 Miles east of Santa Maria
Incident Commander Jamie Copple
Current Situation
Total Personnel 362
Size 1,300 acres
Fuels Involved
Growth Potential
Terrain Difficulty

While not close to us, it is of note. Problems with access, with rapid ROS. This from Cal-Fire:

CA-LPF-La Brea Wildland Fire – Los Padres National Forest

Update: 18:00hrs – Fire now reported at 1200 acres, Texas Canyon, Palomar Hotshots enroute.
Update: 17:30hrs – Per SBC PIO Twitter: SBCFireDO536″La Brea” Inc. Veg. Fire. Los Padres Nation Forest. East of Santa Maria. 800 Acres.