Crossroads, Carmel: Firefighters and Equipment

The Soberanes Fire incident base is in full operation on the Rancho Canada golf course. As a result fire trucks and fire personnel dominate the parking lots of The Crossroads shopping center and businesses along Carmel Rancho Blvd. You won’t hear anyone complaining.

In front of Safeway there is a map station staffed by active or retired Cal Fire personnel. They answer questions about fire activity and help interpret the maps.

PG&E trucks have taken over the field at the corner of Highway 1 and Rio Rd.. They brought in heavy equipment to restore lost power and replace burned power poles. There were more than a dozen large construction oriented PG&E trucks and numerous support vehicles staged in the field at 6:00 am today.

Below are some street images taken August 3 on Carmel Rancho Blvd, Rio Road and Crossroads parking lot.

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Most of the images taken yesterday represent engine strike teams heading out for the 12 hour day shift.

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Strike teams from as far away as Calexico.

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Strike team lined up for gasoline at the 76 Station.

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Strike team from Mariposa on Carmel Rancho Blvd.

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Exiting the incident base onto Rio Road.

~ by Mike Morales on August 4, 2016.

25 Responses to “Crossroads, Carmel: Firefighters and Equipment”

  1. Thanks, Mike. Gives us perspective on the origins of some of these strike teams and how far they travel to come here.

  2. There was a strike team of five engines and a pickup truck parked in Carmel-by-the-Sea yesterday, too. Now this explains why they were stacked up by Carmel Plaza in the visitor bus area.

  3. My pleasure Kate. The scene is something to behold around shift change. Literally hundreds of engines and crew carriers in the neighborhood. Really remarkable. They are good neighbors too…

  4. I really wonder how these guys are going to be able to go about their work when in the next week and a half we are going to get a YUUUUGE influx of visitors for Car Week. I dread the thought of the traffic mess on top of this tragedy. And I hope that the powers that be are wise enough NOT to hold any events at Quail Lodge. But frankly, I doubt that anyone is that on top of it, because there seems to be almost no regional coordination of the car events.

  5. That is an interesting question Carolyn. As the fire moves farther south more structure protection engines will be released from the incident. Maybe too early for any firm predictions though. In any case Quail Lodge and even Rancho Canada lots are not compromised.

  6. Both Quail Lodge and Rancho Canada hosting large car shows on Friday Aug 19

  7. The multicolored map of the fire intensity seems quite useful if available

    Armand

  8. Car Week traffic turns Highway 1 and Carmel Valley Road into parking lots at times. Not only the Friday events in Carmel Valley, but Carmel has two events (one on Tuesday and one on Thursday) that bring in excess of 10,000 visitors into the one-square mile village on each day. Parking for the events is at Larson Field by the Carmel Mission for about 400 cars and a shuttle transports people into the village; that helps a little bit. So my concern is that no matter how many fire apparatus are still in the area, they will be challenged to move around between Rancho Canada, Crossroads and points south and east through this area.😟

  9. Hi Carolyn, There is lot of empty space for all these fire crews in Tassajara
    area; the SE corner of the fire area where the fire is pointing to. We would love to have them.

  10. Cal Fire just set up base at Rancho Canada. Not sure how many times they will want to move it. But I am hoping for the best because, for me, the operations of the fire personnel trumps anything else.

  11. Carolyn,So agree with you–they come first!

  12. In a perfect world all tourism on the peninsula would temporarily cease, the vendors and sponsors would return all advance payments, and the powers that be would turn their attention to the issue at hand. There is a pearl in the oyster off the Pacific Coast whose beauty is priceless in history, humanity, culture and compassion. Let us not shuck the oyster for profit and greed at a time when it is most endangered. Instead, let us protect what is truly precious – this incredible place we are lucky enough to call home. Give the firefighters empty streets to clear a pathway for the immediate rescue of the real gem of the peninsula and beyond, not just its monetary worth, or soon there will be nothing but remnants of a dream, charred beyond recognition and ready to slide come winter. Send an endless “Bravo!” and whatever support possible to the firefighters who put their own lives at risk without hesitation. We should all be so full of grace – a stunning performance of selflessness.

  13. A stunning performance of selflessness-beautifully said about the fire personnel.

  14. Thank you. Quite kind of you to say. Words seem fruitless in an attempt to describe what these firefighters endure to simply give so much back to the rest of us – beyond comprehension.

  15. Carolyn Hardy, a petition has been started towards stopping tourist influx during “Car Week”. I hope it passes and can help. Sign here: https://www.change.org/p/event-organizers-help-us-fight-the-1-wildfire-in-the-nation?recruiter=144997515&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

  16. If there isn’t an annual All Fire Crew Appreciation Day nationally, locally, or in your county – This should be a must for all communities.

  17. Given that this area has been designated as a “state of emergency,” I would assume it would be in the best interest of everyone concerned that all caution be taken to keep people out of harm’s way and put the elimination of the fire as the top priority – residents and tourists alike. Perhaps there is a clause in the designation that allows for this type of important closure or cancellation of events for security and health reasons at a time so important to people’s safety. If not, there most surely is a clause in civil law that will allow people to litigate for health hazards/effects from the smoke and the lost expectations they will experience in coming at a time when the focus is (or should be) on survival and recovery, not the view and shopping. We can be proactive or pay the consequences. At a minimum, it seems silly to incur that potential liability. On a level of logic, having upscale events at a time of a disaster is somewhat ludicrous, but that’s just my opinion.

  18. Frederich, I totally agree with you and others –
    It’s true that our “pearl” is endangered and suffering and flocks of tourists don’t help the matter.
    It’s true that it makes logical sense to shut down our entire area to all tourism due to a national emergency.
    All of this is true.
    What is also true is that simply BECAUSE of the tremendous natural beauty of this area, many local families are able to pay their rent, buy their gas, and feed themselves.
    As a teacher, I know firsthand that many, many of the parents of my kids would be hard hit if the whole area shut down – even for a week.
    I’m talking chefs and all culinary assistants, dishwashers, waiters, bartenders, valets, hotel maids and maintenance people, shop clerks, drivers, etc…. hundreds and thousands of families who form the working “fabric” of Monterey Peninsula would be hit hard. These people are the most vulnerable – they don’t get paid if things shut down. They just suffer.

    I am agreeing with you wholeheartedly – it would be wonderful if the commerce of the Peninsula could “shrink down” to allow free access everywhere to the firefighters – they deserve this as they risk their life and limb to save ours.

    Like it or not, our incredible standard of living, and many, many of our local families, RELY on healthy tourism in our area to stay afloat – so while we may all agree we don’t like having our area flooded right now with out of town “guests” at such a vulnerable time – the truth is that these guests, bringing lots of money into our area, are paying rents, buying food and keeping many Monterey County residents afloat at the same time.

    Just trying to see the positive light amidst the darkness…..

  19. I lived for many years on the central coast and my heart was and still is in Big Sur. Half way around the world I follow this terrible fire and am filled with admiration and respect for everyone involved in fighting it, getting information out, helping other people, and protecting property. You are the best.
    But I am concerned that “car week” is going to interfere with fire operations. Will local police and the CPH be on hand to stop/control traffic and let what is eminently more important at this time—fire vehicles—get through?
    Rechs Ann Pedersen

  20. Concours is still 10 days away and critical fire suppression activity will have abated significantly by then. Firefighters are moving to and from shifts on the fire and there is little to no code 3 (lights and sirens) movement of equipment. I could see Concours official shifting some venues or adjusting scheduled events and they are likely discussing this currently.

    Contracts have been signed and as MT above noted the coming car week is all import for the low paid, minimum wage workers that have a nearly impossible task of making a living in an area with zero affordable housing.

    The Pebble Beach, Monterey, Seaside, Marina and downtown Carmel events will have zero impact on firefighter movement. Even the ‘parade’ down Highway 1 won’t bother firefighters but surely if asked the Concours people would eliminate it.

  21. My main concern is for the events scheduled for Quail Lodge and Rancho Canada. That puts so much traffic on CV Road that friends in CV village won’t even attempt to make their way out to Carmel because the roads are so congested. From what I read in the Monterey Herald, there is no plan to change anything regarding events. Many other events would have less impact, but will still clog Highway 1. Mike, you may know since you provided the photos: when is shift change for the fire crews? That could make a slight difference also as to whether they will be mightily inconvenienced getting in and out of Rancho Canada base camp.

  22. Carolyn, I believe they are 12 hour shifts, day and night. Mornings and late afternoon see the equipment and firefighters crossing paths on Highway 1 or Carmel Valley road. The past few days the prime activity has been 7:30 am to 9:00 am. I haven’t noticed the evening hour crunch as much. As noted in my previous comment the numbers will diminish as days pass.

  23. Mike, thank you for your information and reassurance. I am sure the numbers will start to drop. I hope that in another week there will be a dramatic change, and I see that another base camp is being set up in Greenfield. I am keeping my fingers crossed and saying my little prayers for the firefighters and all safety personnel, not to mention our neighbors who live in the valley and down the coast. How ironic that I had to use my windshield wipers this morning coming back heading south to Carmel from the Farmer’s Market at MP College. Heavy mist. Firefighters heading north using same.

  24. We are tourists from the UK, planning to drive north on 101 to Carmel Valley tomorrow (Sunday August 7) to the Quail Lodge area. Very worried about the fire. Anxious not to spend time sitting in ash. Glad of advice. Thanks.

  25. UK Family – the air is very unhealthy. The Quail Lodge is not threatened by fire, can’t promise no ash.

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