Soberanes Fire, Day 11, 8/1/16 – Local Reports

8:00 pm – and to end my evening postings, here are some just-taken photos of the drop on Mt. Manuel summit by Ed Van Weijan

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7:30 pm –

View from Osborne Ridge above Stonepine in Carmel Valley by Shadd Madsen

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View from Tularcitos by Emily Miller

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5:22 pm – report from Rolf Ridge on Sky Ranch/Cachagua

A slow start to the day gray and still. Action picked up a lot in the afternoon. Light sea breeze marine layer about 2500 feet. Smoke not bad at Sky Ranch.

A planned burn is happening this afternoon from the road into Los Padres Dam – Nason Rd – up the ridge to the right (north). Then the fire line cuts back away from Cachagua rd, up a long valley towards san clemente, white rock, etc. to the northwest.

So it follows the ridge to the right from downtown Cachagua, then at the top of that ridge (flagpole up there) it cuts back and away from the ridgeline and towards what someone said is the san carlos preserve airstrip, where the second plume is, up that valley. That looks like a planned burn too, higher up where the line down here extends off that way.

Off in the far distance is a 3rd plume, too far away to figure out – but 3 plumes!

It really started burning well around 4 pm. It looks to be perfectly executed and totally in control. There is a lot of smoke going south to southwest, at least in the first 2500 feet of atmosphere.


Rolf J. Ridge

Photos of the burn out operation:

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5:15 – here is the back burn at Soberanes Park being conducted right now. The smaller fires are the spot fires, and the rest is just the fire, “doing its thing.” And yes, the Highway is still open. Please don’t shoot the messenger! Sent by a friend.

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5:00 – crews coming in to establish a fire break in or near Hitchcock Canyon, photos by Joanne May:

 

4:30 pm – backburn north of Syndicate Camp by Mary Martin:

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3:30 pm – hearing reports from a local that the CHP is advising that a back burn from the Highway at the Soberanes State Park, the place where it all began, will be initiated soon.

Also, scanner report of a dozer who stumbled upon a pot farm just now being attacked by the growers. H70 circling overhead, and 3 quads on way up. I hope they are caught. Watch your local news for further, as I won’t cover this crap in the midst of bigger things, as long as the operator is okay. If he is not … I’ll be back fuming.

3:00 pm – from county communications:
For folks who need their parcel number, here is how you can find your number online. The Assessor’s Office is backlogged helping folks.
Maia

If you are affected by the Soberanes Fire and need your parcel number, you can find it on the Monterey County Assessor’s Office webiste at http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/assessor/assessor-county-clerk-recorder.

Click ‘On Line Services’ then Search and Return Map Pages. Use the ‘Property Search’ function to get your parcel number.
12:15 pm – dozers have arrived at Joanne May’s Ranch near Garland Park to put in a fire break. All clapping down there.

11:44 – from the Deli:

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11:14 – whoa, shit! Huge plume toward Cachagua Way (I think), hopefully a back burn, and a smaller plume toward the coast.

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10:51 am – Slide show of fire and prep at White Rock, photos sent by Joe Pagnella

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10:00 am – COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT IN CV

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8:00 am – Official Fact sheet lists over 40K acres and 18% burned, no increase in structures lost. Otherwise pretty much the same as last nights posted below.

Also an update: From Bruce Dormody, Rancho San Clemente at 7:16 am: Last night they started a back fire from the Airfield…it was too windy in the wrong direction so they put it right out. This morning they have restarted it, and it looks to be preforming nicely. Their goal is burn 60 to 100’ off the inside and bolster the dozer and hand lines. They have roughly 100 folks up there to watch over everything, so at this moment I feel pretty good…but to give you some idea, they have 5 miles of line to back fire just for our rancho…this will go on for the next few days. The fog is in in the cabin area and temperatures have cooled…but it is extremely smoky. They have cut power to the Ponciano (the break runs under the power lines) and the truck traffic is comically crazy…just imagine 40 big trucks going up to the Bass Lake…then 20 minutes later heading back to the pool, only to turn around an hour later and head back up…so it’s hard to get around anywhere. Thanks again for your kind words…the heavy work is just about done for us (still applying gel retardant to some of our buildings) so now it’s really just watching over everything. Bruce >

7:20 am – Adding info people have sent me, often through PM on FB from all over the fire area:

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From last night, as I was getting ready to call it a day:

From Joanne May:

“Hi Kate – Update……I gave fire crews a tour of my ranch today and showed them where to connect into Garland. Tomorrow, dozers will be creating a secondary line of defense from Garland, across my ranch, hand crews will work down and up the canyon, making their way to Cachagua. The fire fighters are amazing and working so hard to help us. And, we are helping one another. Just thought you would want a progress report from Snively’s Ridge in Carmel Valley. Tired. Hope this makes sense.”

from Mike Selig:

“For those that need help from the Monterey County Assessor’s Office regarding parcel numbers – folks who may not have a specific address – you can call the Assessors Office Monday. Staff there to help are Emma Rayas and Marcello Ramirez.
If you need deeds, documents, certificates, contact Alicia Sotelo.”

6:30 am – I look out at that gorgeous view, see virtually no smoke, and definitely no plumes, and momentarily can wake to the hope that the nightmare is over, knowing it is not. I had the best night’s sleep thus far last night – 11-6. Sweet. A cuppa Joe to top it off this am, and I’ll be ready to slay the dragon again from my perch on top of the world …

Thanks to Lucas Ryan for the new, streamlined, but highly informative format for the Maps post below. I think you’ll enjoy what he has done.

Give me 1/2 an hour, and I’ll be off and running again for the day.

From Michael Troutman:

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~ by bigsurkate on August 1, 2016.

32 Responses to “Soberanes Fire, Day 11, 8/1/16 – Local Reports”

  1. Good morning Kate from the other side of the ridge in Jamesburg. It’s a lovely morning here too. Hard to believe there is an approaching tsunami only a few miles away. We’re packed to evacuate today or tomorrow. It’s been good to have the time to prepare and with all the information you and your team have given us we feel no panic, only hope that the flames will die soon and we can come back to our lovely home on the mountaintop.

  2. It seems like a shift in the wind. Thick, acrid smoke blanketing the coast at Rocky Point, where it has been clear for the last few days. Not sure if that is a new outbreak in Div IX or just smoke from elsewhere heading west. No wind blowing here at the moment, though.

  3. And currently the air in carmel valley is also clear…. it does seem the winds have shifted.

  4. On NPR’s Morning Edition there is a report from Rocky Creek road by Krista Almanzan.

  5. We are camped out in Watsonville, and the last 2 mornings, there has been the smell of smoke in the air. Just to remind us, I guess.

  6. Watched the glow of what appeared the Cachagua backfiring from higher up on Tassajara road. Do you know where exactly they started to backfire?

    And on another upsetting note, we got a visit just yesterday afternoon from pleasant firefighters who come on reconnaissance and then posted the signs on the gates about water, clearance and inhabitants. It was very much appreciated.

    However, we were told at Cachagua Cert meeting that if the 100 radius clearing is crossed out, there will be no dwelling protection. That has me upset because it is my understanding that the Highlands practically had a fire engine in every driveway! I believe the Highlands has many properties with homes which could not possibly have a 100 yard cleared radius.Am I wrong in that belief? If not, I wonder what the difference in judgement is on this … dare I say property value? Or perhaps that meeting statement was incorrect and I will be very grateful and a bit embarrassed about my assumption.

    Where can i direct my question to get an official answer as to structure defense by fire personal and what they plan on offering to the Tassajara Community.

  7. I don’t think you can compare the two at all. Highlands is not WUI, as is Cachagua, 100 ft is the minimum in the WUI for firefighter protection. The Highlands has more than one way in or out for fire fighter safety. The Highlands is not right up against heavy chaparral and brush, but is primarily landscaped, with lots of concrete and driveways. I really think it has nothing to do with $$. Landowners who live in the WUI are responsible for a MINIMUM of 100′ clearance, many do 300′ plus.

    Take a breath. Center. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

    bigsurkate

  8. Good Morning, Kate, Can’t thank you enough for being the “go to” source for information on the Sobernes Fire. We are cabin owners at Rancho San Clemente. This morning we received the following update from Bruce Dormody on the situation in that location. Thought you might like to post it.

    From Bruce Dormody, Rancho San Clemente at 7:16 am: Last night they started a back fire from the Airfield…it was too windy in the wrong direction so they put it right out. This morning they have restarted it, and it looks to be preforming nicely. Their goal is burn 60 to 100’ off the inside and bolster the dozer and hand lines. They have roughly 100 folks up there to watch over everything, so at this moment I feel pretty good…but to give you some idea, they have 5 miles of line to back fire just for our rancho…this will go on for the next few days. The fog is in in the cabin area and temperatures have cooled…but it is extremely smoky. They have cut power to the Ponciano (the break runs under the power lines) and the truck traffic is comically crazy…just imagine 40 big trucks going up to the Bass Lake…then 20 minutes later heading back to the pool, only to turn around an hour later and head back up…so it’s hard to get around anywhere. Thanks again for your kind words…the heavy work is just about done for us (still applying gel retardant to some of our buildings) so now it’s really just watching over everything. Bruce >

  9. Nice, thanks for the update. I’ll copy it to the body of the post.

  10. Kate, i am so impressed with your reports, we stayed in a friends home just above the fire station on Palo Colorado Road, do you know if any of the homes survived the fire last week. From the maps it looks like it went right over the top of them and jumped to another ridge

  11. Long Ridge and Green Ridge did not fare well. Heard mention of the homes behind the fire station, but don’t remember what I heard. Will just have to be patient.

  12. Regine, I would like to allay your fears a bit on that question. In my time with Cal Fire I never witnessed any sort of favoritism where one community is more favored over another. I might suggest the infrastructure of the Highlands with numerous paved cross streets and available hydrants could be why more structure protection units were available there. From a safety perspective ingress and egress for fire equipment and firefighters plays a part as well. Maintaining a 100 ft defensible space is codified and for good reason. No one wants someone else’s son or daughter to be hurt or worse trying to save a home that is too dangerous to defend.
    As for Tassajara, you will recall the fire management of the Basin Fire pulled out and left the Center to defend itself. I was critical of this decision in my fire blog at the time. Since then I visited the Center and could not believe how dangerous the geography of that canyon is. A fire storm could wipe out the canyon in minutes if the wind and fire aligned. The five brave monks that stayed did a fantastic, if not heroic job fighting off flames but they were lucky as well.

  13. Thank you Kate!

  14. Regine — my 100 year old board and bat cottage is in the Highlands and, although I have been staying with friends in Monterey, I have come back twice every day to check on things. At one point fire trucks were parked on Corona Road, but none were ever parked on most of the many streets down here. I hope that you and your dear property will be safe. Blessings. Terry

  15. Is there a drop off point in Carmel to get donated food and clothing down to Big Sur Station?

    If not, when is Big Sur Station open for donations?

  16. I know there is usually a truck, trailer, or Jeep parked at Safeway, and he will be back Tuesday. He doesn’t deliver to Big Sur Station, but does deliver to Palo Colorado area. The station is open M-F. Don’t know the exact hours, but 9-4 would be a good bet. There is always someone there during those times, usually many someones.

  17. Looking at the map around Cachagua and the Jamesburg Earth Station (my son’s house is nearby), and the containment lines to the east, it almost appears that the houses near Cachagua General Store are being left to burn. Can that be? I know they were evacuated yesterday.

  18. No one would DARE let the General Store burn. I serious doubt you are reading that correctly. No panicking allowed, we are all just to busy. Okay? Take a breathe … Center … And concentrate on what you can do to help others.

  19. Thank you all for enhancing my perspective. Took 5 day fire training at Tassajara Zen center. Most enlightening

  20. Hi Kate,

    I have found that the property search function on the assessor’s website does not work for all parcels.

    Folks can also find their parcel number by going to

    http://gis.co.monterey.ca.us/Html5Viewer/Index.html?configBase=http://gis.co.monterey.ca.us/Geocortex/Essentials/external/REST/sites/Base_Map_Out/viewers/BaseMapViewer/virtualdirectory/Resources/Config/Default

    and zooming in on their property. (takes a few seconds to load)

    This interactive map is accessible through the same Monterey County Assessor’s Office site you posted previously (http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/assessor/assessor-county-clerk-recorder.)

    Click ‘On Line Services’ then ‘GIS’
    Then under “Go To GIS Mapping Application,” click ‘Accept.’

  21. Thanks, Lizzy

  22. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve (SNR) is will be opening tomorrow, Tuesday, August 2nd at 8:00 a.m. However, State Parks request that locals wait to visit to minimize the traffic congestion on Highway 1 to assist the firefighting efforts. There will be no parking allowed on the east and west side of Hwy 1 near Point Lobos SNR and there are only 150 spaces in the reserve.

  23. Proposed containment lines are definitely not east of the general store and earth station.

  24. Okay, look in the maps post below for proposed containment lines.

    bigsurkate

  25. What is the tan “control objectives” line [east of “downtown” Cachagua] on the second map down on this page in your website? https://bigsurkate.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/interactive-soberanes-fire-map ? (The SOUTH Briefing Map CA-BEU-003422 July 31st) Note: On the August 1 Operations Map there IS a dozer lines shown as completed directly EAST of downtown Cachagua at the top of a ridge (?) west of Carmel Valley Road. I have to ask what they are thinking.

  26. Hey Kate, if it helps people, Property numbers, called ASMT NUMBER, which is th same as Parcel numbers are on Property Tax Statements. Was easier for us than negotiating the websites🙂

  27. @Carolyn. Some of the bulldozer lines were old ones completed during the 2008 fires. Could that be what you are looking at and wondering why?

  28. One of the quickest ways to find property APN numbers is to use Zillow, zoom-in to find your property, select the property and a new window will open, under FEATURES select more, parcel numbers are located in the OTHER section. http://www.zillow.com/homes/Carmel-valley_rb/

    Carolyn, the random Dozer line may be last years Tassajara fire containment line.

  29. Thanks T. No worries. Time will tell whether any of this is significant or not. (Just looking at the big picture and future. Lived for years with a water-tender driver, so none of this is new to me.)

  30. Also, you can also find out who owns the property in question by clicking the COUNTY WEBSITE link for the property on Zillow (some properties do not have this option).

    To find out the property Owner’s mailing address, you can enter the APN or Assessor’s Parcel Number here: https://assr.parcelquest.com/Home

  31. @Carolyn. Not entirely familiar with these maps so this is mostly just my guess, but I’d say the “control objectives” you were referring to are the major arteries that must be held in order to effectively move resources and gain access to the fire (e.g. hwy 1). As for the dozer line to the east I seem to remember someone else asking about that, perhaps at a meeting, and the response was “planning for the worst case scenario.” These guys are the best, but sometimes even they can’t stop the fire.

  32. Control objectives are worst case scenarios based on terrain and wilderness areas that are difficult to work in. Please calm down. Everyone who was here in 2008 and 1999 and before knows that present day communication and predictions actually work faster than the fire. Thanks internet! I mean that both positively and less so. Kate you are a great resource.

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