Vegetation Fire – Fully Contained

•April 15, 2015 • 2 Comments

3:30 – Fully Contained at 1.5 acres. The fire was across the street from Del Monte Shopping Center. 5 engines and 1 helicopter worked the fire.

2:00 pm – Cal Fire is on the scene of a vegetation fire in the Del Monte Forest area. That area has many buildings nearby, so they will be working to knock this one down quickly. Still early in the season, too. I have no further details at this time.

Fire Season and Burn Permits – Cal Fire Announcements

•April 14, 2015 • 1 Comment
CAL FIRE has suspended all open and permit required burning in the State Responsibility Areas of San Benito and Monterey Counties, effective Tuesday April 14, 2015.  
With a fourth year of drought and continuous record breaking temperatures this winter, our wildland fire season situation on the Central Coast has unprecedented conditions. 

Due to  the current weather conditions and the suspension issued by Cal Fire all burning permits issued by Mid-Coast Fire Brigade are hereby suspended effective immediately.

In a press release issued to the media yesterday Cal Fire would like to remind homeowners that they are required to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around all structures on their property.  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine.  In a joint message from the Fire Chiefs – “Our men and women are prepared for fire season.  We now need the residents who live in our wildland areas and visitors to make sure they are.”


Fuel Conditions and Fire Season Timing

In northern California, fuels have modified a bit from recent shower activity in some areas, but heavier dead fuels remain near record dry levels, more typical of mid-June than late March. Snowpack is the lowest it has ever been at this time of year, less than ten percent of normal across the higher terrain. A robust grass crop in the valleys and foothills west of the Sierra Crest has greened up early in most areas. Green up of brush up to 5000 feet has begun which is about six to eight weeks ahead of schedule. For the southern half of California, annual grasses below 3,000 feet have already cured along the south facing slopes south of Point Conception. Elsewhere around the Area, grasses should be fully cured within the next two to three weeks. Energy Release Component values are well above normal in most areas. Live fuel moisture values have recently peaked, and are now starting to descend. Portions of California will likely see increased activity earlier than usual thanks to the dryness from the long term drought. Fire activity across the lower elevations of northern and southern California is expected to increase in the coming weeks, especially during periods of warm, dry, and windy weather.

Weather and Climate Outlooks

For May through July, above normal temperatures are expected to continue for Alaska and across the West.

Past Weather and Drought

Temperatures were much above normal for much of the West and extreme to exceptional drought remained over California.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook
– Above normal wildland fire potential will develop across portions of Southern California.

June through July
 – Above normal wildland fire potential will expand to across the West Coast, part of the northern Rockies and Great Basin, and continue for most of Hawaii.

Northern California and Hawaii: Normal significant wildland fire potential is expected for April in Northern California and Hawaii. By early May plentiful grass in the lower elevations surrounding the Sacramento Valley should cure rapidly which should produce above normal significant wildland fire potential in these areas. Above normal potential will expand in June and July to include most areas, with the exception of far northeastern California where significant wildland fire potential will remain normal due to a lower-than-normal grass crop. Above normal significant wildland fire potential is expected for most of Hawaii from May through July. Only 20 to 50 percent of normal precipitation has been received over the Area during the previous three months. April should continue to be warmer- and drier-than-normal with any precipitation being more showery in nature. In between weather systems many days could record temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal. For Hawaii: Recent wet weather should minimize significant wildland fire potential in the short term for April but as a weak El Niño scenario unfolds, drought conditions could rapidly intensify. As a result, above normal significant wildland fire potential is expected across most areas from May through July. 

Fire Season Starts tomorrow, 4/13

•April 12, 2015 • 3 Comments


Fire season starts tomorrow. The Los Padres National Forest, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and CAL FIRE of San Luis Obispo are all increasing their staffing levels and equipment.

Firefighters say a fourth year of drought and record-breaking heat has created fire conditions they’ve never seen before, and they expect this dire season to be a challenging one. They say if a fire sparks, it has plenty of fuel because of dry vegetation.

With the start of fire season also comes some burn restrictions. Spark arresters are required on all off-highway vehicles A permit is required for all welding, grinding, cutting, and use of explosives. Fireworks are prohibited and burn permits are required where burning is allowed.

Foto Friday, 4/10

•April 10, 2015 • 5 Comments

I almost forgot it was foto Friday today. I got a call from Rock Knocker’s sister Wednesday at 5:30 am. There are no good phone calls that come at 5:30 am … Ever. RK’s younger brother died suddenly and unexpectedly. Yesterday we traveled over to The Valley … You know the one split by I-5. I took this yesterday. A boring photo, but it shows how brown the hills are, and how the only green is irrigated. (I did HDR it for interest.)



Vegetation Fire

•April 7, 2015 • 3 Comments

hard to believe, and it sure isn’t going anywhere, but … From a friend who monitors the scanner for SLO Co

“Hey Kate…..yr not gonna believe this….just heard a response to Monterey county for a veg fire north of the county line near Gorda……Eng 3482 is the only eng. responding from SLO cty….it’s got to be to wet for stuff to burn right now” 

101 Southbound in Prunedale Closed

•April 7, 2015 • 2 Comments
Detail Information
9:34 AM 6 [9] [Notification] [CHP]-Problem changed from 1125-Traffic Hazard to CLOSURE of a Road by CHP
8:10 AM 4 [5] SIG ALERT SENT
8:04 AM 3 [3] ALSO A LRG BLDR 1125
7:55 AM 1 [1] ROCKS AND MUD 1125 IN THE NUM 1 LN 
Unit Information
7:59 AM 5 Unit Assigned
8:02 AM 4 Unit Cleared
8:02 AM 3 Unit Assigned
8:08 AM 2 Unit At Scene
9:23 AM 1 Unit Cleared

Rain Report, 4/7/15

•April 7, 2015 • 3 Comments

Noon – final tally, 1.3″ nice. As to snow … I have a cloud sitting right on trop of me. A friend from Willow Creek called and said it was clear everywhere else except for Plaskett top. So, can’t see Cone Peak. Sorry. Maybe later today.

8:00 am – Was awake at 3 am when it all started, then woke again by that wonderful, almost-forgotten sound. So far, .just over an inch at 8 am wow! That ought to keep the onset of fire season off for a bit. Maximum wind gusts of 33 mph this morning.  Time to get the fire and the coffee going. All so delicious!


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