The end of coverage – Soberanes Fire

Many of you are so used to waking up to Bigsurkate in your inbox with maps and commentary that you will miss it – not the fire – just the daily connection with community, and eyewitness accounts, and a place to share the horrors and the triumphs. I will, too. But … even the IMT get rotated out every 14-21 days, and I think I am on my 5th such IMT. I need to go back to center, find my balance, and not spend my life on the Internet for a while. It’s not healthy. I know you are all with me on this. I have loved what we have created here, and I am not “leaving” by any means. I still have our events, our clean up, our winter storms and road closures to cover – not to mention lost and found dogs – , but I will be finding center so I can continue to provide service to our community when needed. I can’t thank all of you enough for the experience which has been like no other … We have shown the world the best that we can be, and thus, by extension, the best that they can be.

There are many people who helped these last 71 days, but two stand out: First, Lucas Ryan who did the maps for me for several weeks when all was hot and heavy. I couldn’t have done it without his help. Second was John Chesnut who did his maps for fun every morning while he had his coffee before he ran off to work. You guys were and are amazing. Thank you, so much.

We have some important community issues we need to address – like how we prevent this from happening again – we can share our experience, others can share theirs, and we can hopefully come to some solutions which will benefit all lovers of the land – near and far – so that we can learn, and teach our children, how to be better stewards of the land we love and which gives us all that we are. We are all about sharing solutions after this remarkable experience. Join us … Blessed be.

~ by bigsurkate on September 30, 2016.

70 Responses to “The end of coverage – Soberanes Fire”

  1. Job well done Kate. This was a tough summer and you dedicated the season to this incident. Incredible really and thank you.

  2. You have given amazing gift Kate. Thank you more than I can say. May you and your dogs have a safe, peaceful winter.

  3. Thank you so much for all that you did to report this. I live in Massachusetts along with my sister who up until 7 years ago lived in the Palo Colorado Canyon area and still has friends who live there. This helped her know how things were while she couldnt reach her friends.

  4. What you have provided us with a stellar example of the spirit of the Aquarian Age in which we put the well-being of humanity or some group much larger than our little selves at the center. We will all contemplate the benefits of such an approach for a long, long time. Blessed be.

  5. Mere words can never thank you enough for you and your gift of service and communication with our community. Our heart felt thanks. We hope you know you are appreciated and loved and that you make a difference in all our lives. Thank you again and warm regards, John & Anne

  6. blew it once last time…. didn’t click the I want to see replies button. Doing that now.

  7. Big thanks from one on the outside who benefited from your relatively calm handling of very difficult shifting realities. Also thanks to the helpers, and to the community who gave personal details and encouragement.

  8. Dear Kate,
    Thank you for the contact information about getting action on fixing the east Carmel Valley road. I urge all residents of east Carmel Valley, Cachagua, Jamesburg Tassajara road, and Arroyo Seco to call Supervisor Dave Potter’s office
    at 831-755 5055
    OR 831-647 7755
    and speak to his administrative assistant Brian Flores to urge the county to fix and re pave the east Carmel valley road before the rains come.
    In addition, the BAER number is 831-204 0446 and their email is

    Heartfelt thanks to you Kate for including these communities in your Big Sur blog. You have been a lifeline for us all.

  9. Mahalo nunui for all your dedication to keeping us safe and informed.

  10. So glad to have Big Sur Kate! Thank you Kate and team for being there! It’s wonderful having 1 place to go, that you can rely on, during these stressful times. The info is there and it’s right! Thanks to Adam Clark as well for his maps, looked forward to those every morning as well!

  11. Good Morning Kate, Lucas and John,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Words cannot express how grateful we all are for the tremendous amount of information that we could not get anywhere else.
    May we all have a safe winter.

  12. I want to express my overwhelming gratitude to you for providing a centralized communication hub for everyone with ties to the Central Coast and Carmel Valley as well as beyond. Your site was, and continues to be a constant source of information that ties us all together … In good times and in not so good times. Thank you, Kate!

  13. Good Morning Kate, Lucas, John and Company,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Words cannot express how grateful we all are for the information provided during this very stressful time.
    May we all have a safe winter.

  14. Thank you so, so much for all your hard work. It is very valuable and appreciated.

  15. Thank you Kate (and to your helpers) for the Herculean effort of keeping our communities informed and connected through this major fire event for our area. It has been an incredible experience to have found your blog and to watch everything unfold. The communications not only provided information, but comfort to many. The community connections were amazing to watch. And shared eyewitness information was so reliable.

    Just reading an article from SF Chronicle about all the wonderful spots to visit (formerly secluded or just special) that have been spoiled by social media spreading the word. I think of Big Sur as I read the article and think about the overwhelming crush of people that is spoiling the area for all. Along with dealing with the fire’s aftermath and the potential problems that winter rains might bring, the next challenge for the community is to address the on slot of people and the congestion on Highway 41. Best to all of you and thank you for everything you do and have done.

  16. That was Highway 1, not 41😳

  17. Many, many, many thanks. You’ve provided an invaluable service to our community, done with charm and wit. Blessed be.

  18. The controlled back-burns seemed to do a fair amount of good.
    Perhaps the powers that be could consider a program of regularly planned ‘back-burning’ of key areas in the forest.
    As a maintenance-fire prevention & control task. (MFPCT :))
    The idea would be to avoid a large scale catastrophe such as Soberanes by creating controllable parameters.
    BSK, et al, thank you for your sacrifices in reporting the news for 2 months +.
    It was good work & very well done.

  19. Kate, A hearty well done and appreciation to you and those who supported you during this unfortunate event. The info you provided was outstanding and valuable to all who used it. Look forward to future news of re-birth and resurrection from the Big Sur country.

  20. Thank you Kate and the entire community that comes together here … a bright light to all …
    Thank you from Hitchcock canyon!
    … much love and respect,
    Diane and Ray

  21. Thank you for everything you’ve done. The fire would have been a lot harder for all of us to deal with without your dedication to providing accurate, up to date information for the community.

  22. Thak you again for your dedication in covering the horror and triumphs of this blaze. The maps you provided helped to keep my family safe while checking on and preparing my grandpa’s cabin for the fire. Every morning for weeks upon weeks you have kept us informed. At times I have found information on here that was simply unavailable anywhere else.

    I hope that you find some peace, balance and possibly some relaxation.
    ~The English Family

  23. Thanks for your time. Your some of the best Intel coming out of the lost world over the years on fires in the area
    Signed Just a Fireman

  24. Thank you. It’s not a lot, but it is sincere and deep. We live in Sand City. We are transplants from Colorado and went thru the Haymen Fire there, lost our Airstream on our land. So, we loved, needed, used your communications daily during this event. Our family was needing to know about everyone and everything with the Sobranes fire. We were so lost with the Haymen Fire and lack of info. This was awesome. You held the community together and though we are located out of the danger zone, we felt anguish over what you guys were going through and our go to was your site. Our thanks and prayers are with you and your community. We are so happy it is ending.

  25. Dear Kate, Lucas, John and Company,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    Words cannot express how grateful we all are for your untiring quest to provide us all with information, which we could not find anywhere else.
    May we all have a safe winter.

  26. Dear Kate and Team, you may be stepping out of our inboxes for a centering time, and I wish you Peace and calm, but you will not leave the center of our hearts, and you and the whole community will stay in my prayers. Seven generations of my family before me and two after me thank you for your service to this land we love. By staying online and off center so many long weeks, you have given us the ability to stay more centered ourselves. Brava and bavo, all!

  27. Well said. 🙂

  28. “This is not only a Thank You, this is also a WOW!”

    Kate, you are the wagon wheel hub for the community. You’ve managed to bring all the spokes together! From Big Sur to the Highlands, Carmel, Mid Valley, The Preserve, Whiterock, San Clemente Rancho, Robles Del Rio, Carmel Valley, Cachagua, Tassajara, Arroyo Seco, Lake Naciemento, Cambria and now Sanat Cruz! It’s amazing to see these comments from so many people. You’ve been providing a steady stream of information for 8 years now! I can’t thank you enough. It’ss an honor to be considered a part of your team. I’ll always be here if you need me. Now, go back to bed! (inside joke). ~Lucas Ryan

  29. Thank you, thank you for everything

  30. Oh, Luke … You made me laugh. I *DID* go back to bed after this one. Usually it was you. Don’t worry, I will call on you again, if I need you. You saved my sanity when things got hectic.


  31. Kate, thanks to you and all who provided information here during the fire. Our daughter lost her cabin and everything she owned on Palo the first weekend of the fire. This site allowed us to keep up to date here in Illinois without having to constantly ask her for updates. We now have a greater appreciation for her love of Big Sur and the environment. We wish all of you the best during the recovery process.

  32. I will echo the same. A Herculean job. No other public source has risen to the occasion. There was no other source than Big Sur Kate. What a focused effort. And .. yet the fire continues. It is now the most expensive fire in US history! Virtually no one outside of this area has any clue what we have endured. “Fire?” Never heard about it. Who is now IC? Who is in charge?

  33. Kate, Lucas, John and the other contributors per Soberanes, Loma, Chimney,etc.,
    We, your Atlanta fans/frequent Big Sur visitors and daily observers for the last 71 days, send our heartfelt thanks for the facts, color, dark-humor, advice, insights, and just damn good reporting (we are in the media, news business)—it is/was more than appreciated! Big Sur, CV, Tassajara, Cachagua, all precious parts of a unique part of the world—and, the Fireman and Pilots—hell of a job—prayers for those special souls!
    We hope and pray for total containment, cooling temps, and “gentle” rains this Fall/Winter! We will see you soon!
    PS Kate, sleep well!

  34. Our community can not thank you enough for what you (&your team) provided us during this trying time. You were a port in the storm and did so with such grace. Thank you for easing the days and nights, thank you for being you.

  35. Kate, John, Lucas & Community, yes waking up to Bigsurkate has been a Godsend, source of information, hope & heart. I join w/you to create the solutions we need to care for our sacred land & community. Blessings.

  36. Thank you, Kate, for the patience, compassion, thoughtfulness, love and HUGE amount of your life you have given us through this most challenging of times. You have been a fearless champion and advocate, informing us, raising our spirits, lifting our community, showing us all what love in action looks like, reminding us of the moments of lightness through this very long darkness. Bows to you in gratitude, bows to you in companionship, with tons of love and appreciation from Jeff and Joshua, the cat, on Pfeiffer Ridge.

  37. Thank you, Kate!

  38. Mere words cannot express… and yet so many people have beautifully articulated their gratitude to you, for your unique and comprehensive coverage of this huge event, and for being you, let me just say, Echo! Thank you Kate! Thank you Lucas and John for the amazing maps. Looking forward to participating with you on future fire prevention strategies and arresting the process of Big Sur being ” loved to death”. Love and respect to you Kate!

  39. Yes – a big THANK YOU to the BSK team. Very well done!
    Enjoy a well deserved break to repair and recharge. You are definitely in the right place for that!
    Wishing for a slow, gentle winter.
    Thanks again – Denise

  40. Thank you Kate, and Lucas and John too! Enjoy some respite.

  41. Well done and many thanks for all your efforts.

  42. dear Kate, I hope you can hear and take in all these accolades, and how my heart soars to hear you taking some time away from the computer – hallelujah and happy return to Center! Thank you for your incredible dedication and service to this widespread community. I have been one of the many Mama bears with grown kids living in Big Sur (and thus a big piece of my heart) tracking this from afar – so immensely grateful for your informed, steady, clearheaded and up to the minute daily coverage of this fire. To know when and where to send prayers or air purifiers, when to relax, when to worry – you have provided comfort and connection beyond words. As many have expressed, it will indeed be a different start to the day to not go directly to this blog. Huge gratitude also to Lucas, John Chestnut, Keith V. & all the other info-angels. Celebrating the end of this fire and all the goodness of connection and community that came out of it. Turning bellies, heads and hearts now towards future solutions. On we go.

  43. I am giving you a virtual Noble Peace Prize, Kate and every single other type of prize that humans give each other. Most of all, I give you my heart, my thanks, my eternal love and appreciation for all you do, and are. Mahalo!

  44. Take care Kate, you are wonderful!

  45. Thank you for that you do Kate!! You are much appreciated!! Much love to you!!

  46. Dearest BigSur Kate. You are such a gift to us all. Infinitely grateful. The connections, communications, community, care, sharing, most beneficial blessings to all! Can never thank you enough. All joys, peace, love, be with you. Monumental job keeping us informed, directed, connected. Bless you!!!

  47. As a family that treasures our Garrapata Canyon cabin but do not live in the area, we were informed and comforted by your daily postings regarding the Soberanes fire over the past months. Our prayers continue for the well being of the community and you in particular as the healing times come.

  48. Your updates were invaluable and appreciated by my family of friends; we all thank you for your tireless reporting and most of all your time/energy. You are an amazing role model, thank you Kate for all you do. Wishing you the very Best!

  49. Sending deep gratitude to you, for your incredible dedication, generosity and service to the community and to all who helped keep us informed. Good also to read you are taking care of yourself.

  50. Thank you Kate, and thanks Lucas!

  51. Kate love and good wishes to you & the crew staying in shape for winter,

    thank you for your commitment to such a sharp community.

    Which R&R retreat sounds good to you?


    “Top 10: Happiest seaside towns”

  52. Community meeting 5 p.m. Saturday at Arroyo Seco Fire Station

  53. There are a couple that sound good – Hilton Head, for example … But only two I’ve been to – Carmel and Dana Point. My favorite will remain a secret, so it doesn’t get over run… Hoping for a few days this winter.😉


  54. AMAZING BIG SUR TEAM!! Thank you Kate & the map guys. What an education ya’ll gave us about firefighting. I woke up every morning to see what had happened the night before. And updated family from Seattle to Ohio twice a week. The acres burned became more incredible as the weeks went on & the conditions those wonderful firefighters worked under were beyond belief. They are truly heros. The pilots are the best, tirelessly dropping water & retardant. They all need a raise in pay!! Hugs & Kisses to all. Charlotte CV

  55. Kate,
    Huge thanks to you, John and Lucas for your selfless efforts to keep all of us informed, for so many long days and nights. You all gave so much to our communities and those who have an attachment to them. I am so grateful.

  56. For Kate, John and Lucas: You have been the glue that held us all together. I thank you all and will miss my morning fix of information. You truly need to get back to center and get some R & R. Steady as you go and thank you, thank you, thank you. May we meet again under much less stressful conditions.

  57. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Kate, Lucas, John Keith for what, as others have called this site, a Herculean effort. This site was the first place I went to in the morning and the last site I checked before falling asleep with numerous other checks during the day, in between looking at plumes, flames and helicopters off my deck. I want to clarify that I do not usually spend so much time at the computer. I prefer hiking, biking, reading, writing, etc. but I certainly felt the pull for information that your site went above and beyond to pass on. If you wanted another career you could travel throughout the country teaching other communities how to create an incredible community site such as yours. But, I know you don’t. You have a life and have chosen your seclusion well. May you once again find balance and peaceful, regenerative moments. If you are ever on the Peninsula and need a place to crash, my guest bedroom is always available for you. Much love – Aletha

  58. Kate, John, Lucas, and team,
    Thank you for your patience, time, and energy.
    You all provided digestible information.

  59. Kate, What can we do for you? Is there help of any kind, any work or supplies or ?, through which we can express our thanks to you? Please let us know.

  60. Thanks, Joan. I need nothing, but the 57 homes that were lost need everything. I know people want to honor what we did on this blog, but the best way to honor the community we created, TOGETHER, is to continue that – help your neighbor. See if the elderly or handicapped need a chore done, or a ride offered. Donate money to who continue to help those impacted. Donate to your local volunteer fire brigade. Be kind. All those contributions will help me and us in the end.


  61. Will do. Bless you Kate.

  62. Kate, I wasn’t personally affected by the fire but I have several families down there that I have known for a few years. You have provided everyone with monumental information on the fire and you deserve a break. May you find your center again. Thank you for your commitment to the Big Sur and surrounding communities.

  63. Thank you so much Big Sur Kate for working to keep us informed on this tragic event for so long! We are finally beginning to be able to breathe again. It has been a long two months.. we look forward to full containment! Hoping the Loma fire is out soon as well.

  64. A deep bow of gratitude and respect to you, Kate.

    Thank you for your dedication, leadership and perseverance these many days.
    Your wise words shaped the raw information into knowledge that we needed. Thank you for providing a mediated forum for expressions of hope, frustration, worry and relief.

    Many blessings on your centering rest.

  65. We are grateful. We will honor your selfless service to your neighbors and to those of us with deep connection to Mama Earth. We will “pass it forward.” Merci. Danke. Blagodariya. Thank you.

  66. Words can not adequately express the gratitude my wife and I – along with so many others – have for all that you have done during this challenging time. Wishing you peace and happiness.

  67. We have watched from afar and across the oceans and will be seeing for ourselves next week. This has torn our hearts but, as in nature, there will be recovery and knowledge. Good, good work

  68. I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to you as well. In many ways your coverage had a lot more information than most of the official sites. It was always the first place I looked. Best regards.

  69. Kate, thank you so much for you very hard work these last three months. I hope you are replenished by the beautiful fall season and the rains to come. Would very much like to be part of the Loving Big Sur to Death conversation, as we in Cambria are dealing with similar issues. More and more promotion of the area without thought to human and environmental consequences. Will be in touch.

  70. Kate, along with the scores of others, thank you! And thank you to the many others that contributed. Very impressive! My sister and her family live just south of Carmel near Point Lobos so the Soberanes fire caught my attention early on. I live in Ohio. I immediately made your site a favorite when I found it, recognizing the quality and scope of coverage. Like so many others, this was my daily link to what was going on. I had the opportunity to visit there 2 years ago. Forever in my memory are Point Lobos Reserve, Big Sur and Julia Pfeiffer Park. My sister did a good job showing me with the short time we had. What a beautiful place you live in. As the fire marched on, your site provided me an outstanding education in so many areas. I studied the maps, read the commentaries, read up on strategies to understand the mission and the unbelievable effort put out. It made me look at underlying contributing factors. Along the way I shared with family and coworkers. Many also took up an interest and it became a topic of discussion many times. It may disappoint you, but not surprise you to know that many here have little knowledge of California’s drought and all the dangers that come with it. Well, I just wanted you to know that you and your fellow contributors have provided many here with a much better understanding, respect, appreciation and genuine concern for your home. Take care and keep fighting the good fight.

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