Soberanes Fire, Day 45, 9/4/16
7:30 pm – Good night, Day 45 – where smoke and fog meet. Glad to say goodnight. May tomorrow bring clearer, cleaner, bluer skies.
And here is the latest MODIS from John Chesnut (time stamped 2:54 pm). Far west side seems to be holding well, but South is moving quite a bit.
4:15 pm – a photo taken by Aaron McGilloway and sent to me by Iris McWilliams about 3 pm from East Carmel Valley Road past Arroyo SEco looking west.
1:30 pm – one USFS source has said: They lost the fire on a dramatic slopover. That is why the DC-10 was called in. They were panicked it would run away from all containment trails. (And I said at the time they wouldn’t divert the VLAT unless they were worried about containment.) Now as for Tassajara – They all thought it was going to go through yesterday. Good chance today because it’s less than a mile away (Official word is 2.5 miles) and satelite data shows lots of pre- heating out front of the fire. In any event, the fire is rapidly approaching the Zen Center, as we all know and expected. (Steve Harper, whose opinion I trust, takes issue with the above statements. I would rather go with Steve’s gut than with the USFS source, frankly.) Let’s pray they are prepared and get help this time. I understand air resources are committed to Tassajara.
And from the USFS air operations – what we all knew just from watching:
11 am and the USFS finally released their long-awaited update. I am only including the most pertinent part.
Los Padres National Forest
September 4, 2016
Fire Information Phone (831)204-0446
Media Line: (831)484-9647
Incident: The Soberanes Fire is burning in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Monterey County, CA. The fire was started by an illegal campfire on July 22, 2016, in Garrapata State Park.
Agency Jurisdiction: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit/Los Padres National Forest.
Incident Command: Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team, Tom Kurth Incident Commander.
Current Size: 98,420 acres (61,226 acres CA-LPF, 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)
Containment: 60% Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 6 injuries
Structures Destroyed: 57 homes, 11 outbuildings Structures Threatened: 410
Current Resources: Crews: 16 Engines: 59 Helicopters: 15 Dozers: 3
Water Tenders: 7 Masticators: 2
Total Personnel : 1153
Current Situation: An increase in winds late in the afternoon and evening resulted a significant increase in fire activity. The overall acreage increased by approximately 2,700 acres, most of which was to the southeast. The fire moved roughly 1. 8 miles and has now passed the Marble Creek Trail and Black Cone Mountain.
Late Saturday night, satellite heat detections prompted concern for public safety and a possible evacuation for the Tassajara Zen Center. Actual fire spread was evaluated. This resulted in a decision not to issue an evacuation warning. While satellite imagery is a useful tool, it can sometimes be misleading, as radiant heat, gases and smoke can result in a heat image that is not actual fire. The eastern edge of the active fire is now approximately 2.5 miles from the Tassajara Zen Center, but separated by several ridgelines.
Firefighters were able to contain two spot fires and a place where fire crept across the containment line along Coast Ridge Rd., 1 mile north of Anderson Peak. Managers say those fires no longer pose a threat to containment lines.
No firing operations are planned today. Fire suppression repair on the north portion of the fire has been completed. Structure protection along Partington Ridge and protection assessment work is ongoing at Tassajara Zen Center and Arroyo Seco.
8:45 am – Here is a structure protection map for the Highway One Corridor from McWay Falls south past Esalen and Hot Springs Canyon;
7 am – After I went back to bed, there was a report by a BSVFB Member that the fire jumped the containment lines at McWay Canyon. The CHP reports this as well (note, all those “PMs” may actually be “AMs” per the initial report by brigade member, but not certain, as there is a slop over that shows on the IR flight map.
6:59 PM 7  [Notification] [CHP]-Problem changed from 1184-Provide Traffic Control to FIRE-Report of Fire by CHP
5:28 PM 6  1022 LN 5-7
5:28 PM 5  HEATH W/ CTRANS ETA 20-30 MINS FOR CONES and SINAGE – HE WIL BRING ENOUGH TO CLOSE THE RHS
5:25 PM 4  PER 27-12 REQ SIGNS AND CONES FROM FIRE COMMAND POST
5:15 PM 3  VEH STALLED IN # 1 LN
4:42 PM 2  FIRE JUMPED BREAK LINE
4:42 PM 1  PARK IS CLOSED NOW
4 am – for all you early birds out there, here are the days maps. These clearly indicate the huge plumes we saw yesterday were NOT solely from the burn out operation, but instead from the runs the main fire made to the South, toward Lost Valley, and to the east, were it crested Black Cone. And for you trivia people out there, several of us got curious about which fire on the LPNF burned for the longest duration. It was the Zaca Fire of 2007 which burned for 60 days from 7/4/07-9/2/07.
The South Ops map has not been updated since yesterday with the run we witnessed yesterday, but there is a new operations map – the Tassajara Ops map that does show this and the run up and over Black Cone, so I include that one instead.
And here are the weather and fire behavior predictions.