Posted by: Stan Russell | September 30, 2016

Estimated containment date changed for Soberanes Fire

Estimated containment date changed for Soberanes Fire

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest

For immediate release:
Contact: 831-484-9647, 831-204-0446
Sept. 29, 2016

The estimated containment date for the Soberanes Fire has been adjusted to October 15. The fire has been burning in Monterey County since July 22 that was started by an illegal campfire in the Garrapata State Park. Incident managers adjusted the date after a thorough evaluation of the fire and projected weather conditions. The containment date was previously estimated for September 30.

Here are facts about the fire and the conditions affecting the fire’s containment.

Current Situation – Change in Containment Date

· Fire containment dates are always an estimate.

· Current favorable weather changes and decreased fire behavior have allowed the incident managers to make significant progress on containing the fire; containment is up from 52% two weeks ago to 92% today.

· The favorable weather conditions and decreased winds have mitigated and reduced fire behavior. This is allowing firefighters to safely access the fire’s perimeter. The change to direct attack of the fire will reduce the estimated total to 135,500 acres – a reduction of 46,000 acres.

· Firefighters have completed a containment line around 168 miles of the fire perimeter. Construction of an additional 14 miles of line will fully contain the fire. This is estimated to take an additional two weeks beyond the initial September 30 estimated containment date.

· As containment grows and fewer resources are needed, Fire Incident Managers are reducing logistical resources. On Wednesday, the Fort Hunter Liggett camp was closed, and the Andrew Molera State Park camp was demobilized from a full camp to a minor support camp (showers and sleeping facilities to reduce drive times). Two fire camps remain. Costs will be lessened as resources are reduced.

Post-Containment:

· Even after 100 percent containment is achieved, the Soberanes Fire will continue to burn in isolated pockets inside of the containment lines until a “season ending” rain occurs, likely in December. Firefighters will continue to monitor the contained fire and be prepared to attack any flare-ups until the fire is fully controlled (no active fire is inside of the containment line).

· Once the fire is fully contained, the public may still see smoke due to isolated pockets of fuel burning in the interior of the contained fire in the Ventana Wilderness. However, due to the remoteness of the wilderness and the decreased amount of fire, smoke impacts will be reduced.

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 30, 2016

Soberanes Fire Update 9/3016 (Day 71)

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
September 30, 2016
Day 71

#SoberanesFire Hand crews and fire personnel have 14 more miles of fire line construction, mop up and patrol to go before reaching the goal of 100% containment of the 132,069 acre fire. To put that in perspective, a coordinated effort between interagency crews from around the United States has resulted in 168 miles of completed fire line and 92% containment.

1,162 fire personnel assigned to the fire include 24 hand crews, 33 engines, 15 helicopters and 5 bulldozers.

While hand crews remain focused on building fire line, archaeologists and Resource Advisors (READs) with the United States Forest Service have been working behind the scenes to document and preserve the archaeological sites in the fire area, while also ensuring that suppression efforts preserves the unique cultural history of native peoples who called the Los Padres National Forest home for centuries.

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 29, 2016

Soberanes Fire Daily Update 9/29/16 (Day70)

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
Daily Update: September 29, 2016

CONTACT: Fire Information Line: (831) 204-0446 – Media Line: (831) 484-9647 – Email: soberanesfire2016

Incident: The Soberanes Fire is burning in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, in Monterey County, CA. An illegal campfire started the fire on July 22, 2016, in Garrapata State Park.

Agency Jurisdiction: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit/Los Padres National Forest.

Incident Command: Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team, Van Arroyo, Incident Commander.

Current Size: 129,395 acres (92,201 acres Los Padres National Forest; 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)

Containment: 92% Personnel: 1,462 Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 8 injuries

Structures Destroyed:

57 homes, 11 outbuildings

Structures Threatened: 410 Crews: 27 Engines: 58
Helicopters: 17 Dozers: 7 Masticators: 4 Water Tenders: 9

Current Situation:

Firefighters achieved a milestone on Wednesday as containment surpassed the 90 percent mark. After 70 days of fighting and living with the Soberanes Fire, reaching 92 percent containment represents a remarkable degree of success for firefighters and the community.

Incident managers caution that the fire continues to burn, particularly in the eastern interior near English Cabin and the Church Creek drainage. The current acreage is 129,395 acres. Prolonged drought conditions mean that undetected burning fuels may still be smoldering. Earlier this week, a spot erupted in the far northern area of the fire that had been considered cold for three weeks. The spot was quickly extinguished, but it demonstrates how conditions can change quickly.

Fire behavior in the interior perimeter continues to smolder and creep. But analysts say that it could flare as winds align with the drainages. The particularly hot areas, as measured by daily infrared flights, continue to be in the eastern area of the fire, but well-within the containment lines.

In much of the fire area, work continues on extensive suppression repair. This work helps restore scars from fire equipment and other damage from fire-related operations. Erosion control is an important element of suppression repair, with the teams working to ensure areas made bare are less likely to erode when significant rains come. Archaeologists and resource advisers work with the suppression repair teams to see that cultural and natural assets are protected.

Today, the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team assumed command of management of the fire. The Central Coast team, with Van Arroyo as Incident Commander, replaces the California Interagency Incident Management Team (IC Opliger).

For more information, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4888/ or follow us at www.facebook.com/LosPadresNationalForestor www.twitter.com/LosPadresNF.

Other contacts: SPCA, (831) 646-5534; American Red Cross, (866) 272-2237

Photo by U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 28, 2016

Soberanes Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Report Workshop

From Fifth District, County of Monterey

The Fifth District Office and the Soberanes Fire Interagency
Cooperators have coordinated a public workshop for review of the Phase 1 BAER report.

Soberanes Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Report Workshop
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Big Sur Lodge Restaurant, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

A brief overview of the SOBERANES PHASE 1 BURNED-AREA REPORT/2500-8 will be presented. Cooperating agencies and officials will be available for one on one discussions with the public to provide specific individualized information.

Due to the nature of the Soberanes Fire and that it is currently an active event, an additional BAER team will be initiated to establish a Phase 2 Report once suppression is complete.

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 28, 2016

ELEPHANT TRUNK PROJECT CONTINUES WITH DAYTIME WORK

CALTRANS
NEWS RELEASE
Today’s Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016
District: 05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties
Contact: Susana Z. Cruz (Bilingual) or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3189
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

*UPDATE 72*

ELEPHANT TRUNK PROJECT CONTINUES WITH DAYTIME WORK ONLY—NO MORE OVERNIGHT CLOSURES FOR NOW ON HIGHWAY 1 NEAR THE SAN LUIS OBISPO/MONTEREY COUNTY LINE

SAN LUIS OBISPO/MONTEREY COUNTIES– A project to construct a retaining wall on Highway 1 in northern San Luis Obispo/southern Monterey County (SLO PM 73.7-PM 74) is underway. It will serve as a permanent restoration effort in this area known for major slides.

Daytime roadwork continues Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm. Construction this week includes the contractor working on preparing to stripe the job.All local businesses along the coast will remain open during this project.

Motorists will encounter one-way reversing traffic control via a temporary traffic signal 24/7. Traffic delays during the one-way traffic control will be 5-10 minutes.

The contractor for this $9.5 million project is John Madonna Construction of San Luis Obispo, CA. This project is expected to be completed in winter 2016-17.

Pictures show the contractor working on removing some bumps in the pavement on State Route 1 at Elephant Trunk.
-MORE-

*UPDATE #59*

HIGHWAY 1/COW CLIFFS VIADUCT PROJECT CONTINUES

MONTEREY COUNTY– A mostly daytime ½-mile project to construct a viaduct continues along Hwy. 1 near Lucia from the Big Creek Bridge to south of Dolan Creek Bridge (PM 31), near Big Creek Bridge (PM 28), about 18 miles south of Big Sur.

Roadwork for next week continues with constructing the approach slabs on the northbound direction of the viaduct. There will be 10-minute traffic holds as needed. Hwy. 1 at Cow Cliffs will continue with one-way signalized traffic control 24/7.

The project consists of constructing a permanent viaduct, about five miles north of Lucia and 18 miles south of Big Sur. Daily roadwork schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions and other factors so stay tuned for weekly updates. ALL BUSINESSES ALONG THE BIG SUR COAST WILL REMAIN OPEN.

The contractor for this $3.9 million project is RGW Construction Inc. of Livermore, CA. Completion is scheduled for fall of 2016, weather permitting

Pictures from left to right show: 1), Applying the curing compound at the approach slab stage II abutment 4, looking south; 2) Grinding existing AC north of the cow cliffs Bridge, looking north and 3) Pressure-washing the epoxy rebar at the closure pour, looking north on State Route 1 at Cow Cliffs.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm. Motorists can also contact the toll-free hotline from Cambria to Carmel at: 888-836-0866.

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 28, 2016

Soberanes Fire Daily Update: September 28, 2016

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
September 28, 2016

CONTACT: Fire Information Line: (831) 204-0446 – Media Line: (831) 484-9647 – Email: soberanesfire2016

Incident: The Soberanes Fire is burning in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, in Monterey County, CA. An illegal campfire started the fire on July 22, 2016, in Garrapata State Park.

Agency Jurisdiction: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit/Los Padres National Forest.

Incident Command: California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, Rocky W. Opliger, Incident Commander.

Current Size: 128,595 acres (91,401 acres Los Padres National Forest; 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)

Containment: 89% Personnel: 1,833 Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 8 injuries

Structures Destroyed:

57 homes, 11 outbuildings

Structures Threatened: 410 Crews: 36 Engines: 90
Helicopters: 17 Dozers: 11 Masticators: 4 Water Tenders: 13

Current Situation:

Firefighters are establishing new containment lines and improving existing lines throughout the eastern and southeastern edges of the fire. Crews are steadily moving toward transitioning to suppression repair on the eastern side, as they have been for some time on the fire’s west and north.

The spot fire east of Chews Ridge, which has been burning for about a week, is now contained. Firefighters will continue to work in that area to cool hot spots. Crews are continuing to mop up throughout the eastern and southeastern portions of the fire. The spot fire near Arroyo Seco is also being mopped up.

The hottest part of the fire continues to be near Church Ranch and in the Church Creek drainage. Smoke visible from the fire is from burning pockets in the fire’s interior.

The fire’s behavior continues to be mostly smoldering and creeping around the perimeter. Outbreaks of intense burning continue in unburned pockets of fuel in the fire’s interior. Despite weather changes, high winds and difficult terrain, all containment lines have held.

The California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, which has been responsible for the Soberanes Fire for the past 16 days, is turning management over to the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team. Rocky W. Opliger, the incident commander for California Team 4, a Type 1 team capable of managing incidents of the highest complexity, will transition to the Central Coast Team on Thursday morning. The incoming incident commander is Van Arroyo.

Typically, an incident management team is assigned to a fire for 14 days, with the possibility of extending up to an additional seven days. Members of the outgoing team will have a brief rest period before becoming available for reassignment. The Central Coast team is the fifth incident management team on the Soberanes Fire, an indication of the complexity of this fire, which began on July 22 and now is in its 69th day.

For more information, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4888/ or follow us at www.facebook.com/LosPadresNationalForestor www.twitter.com/LosPadresNF

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 27, 2016

Soberanes Fire Update 9/27/16

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
128,380 acres
81% Contained

Soberanes Fire Containment has increased to 81% as 2,048 fire personnel continue to focus suppression efforts on the interior fingers to cut off any fire growth. 38 crews, 110 engines, 23 helicopters and 15 water tenders are currently assigned to the 128,380 acre fire. Air resources are also being utilized to shore up the south side of the Church Finger with retardant and water drops. Crews are utilizing miles of hose lays to mop up and secure the containment lines along Carmel Valley Road and north of Arroyo Seco. Soberanes fire managers are coordinating with the #LomaFire to share resources as CalFire works to contain the new fast moving blaze, which has been putting up a very large column of smoke in the area.

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 26, 2016

SOBERNESS FIRE PROGRESSION MAP & VIDEO

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Monday, September 26, 2016

Soberanes Fire Progression Map

Firefighters utilize all sorts of maps throughout the 16 hour work day to locate medical evacuation sites, safety zones, water sources for pumps and much more. The mapping specialists prepared this animated progression map so that you can easily understand how the 127,478 acre fire has grown over the past 67 days. Containment has increased to 78%.

Follow the link below to view a video of the fire progression map.

https://vimeo.com/pio365/soberanesprogressionmap9252016

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 26, 2016

SOBERNESS FIRE UPDATE 9/26/16

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
September 26, 2016

CONTACT: Fire Information Line: (831) 204-0446 – Media Line: (831) 484-9647 – Email: soberanesfire2016

Incident: The Soberanes Fire is burning in the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, in 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: California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, Rocky Opliger, Incident Commander.

Current Size: 127,478 acres (90,284 acres Los Padres National Forest; 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)

Containment: 78% Personnel: 2,149 Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 8 injuries

Structures Destroyed:

57 homes, 11 outbuildings

Structures Threatened: 410 Crews: 40 Engines: 107
Helicopters: 23 Dozers: 14 Masticators:4 Water Tenders: 15


Current Situation:
A large smoke column visible in many areas on Sunday was from interior burning in the Church Creek drainage. This burning was stimulated by high winds that reached gusts of 51 mph. The fire, while active in that area, did not breach containment lines. Firefighters will be focusing today on the Church Creek area to cut off fire growth.

Outside of the Church Creek area, fire activity on the perimeter was limited to creeping and backing. Fire behavior today is expected to have similar characteristics. Winds are expected to lessen today.

The fire is in transition. Firefighters continue aggressive suppression in areas where there is active burning, primarily on the fire’s east side. But objectives are changing to reflect the work on suppression repair, which addresses adverse environmental effects caused by firefighters and equipment during periods of active firefighting. Three suppression repair groups are now working on the east side. Suppression repair also continues to be a priority on the west side.

Firefighters have completed contingency lines in the southeastern area. In the southwestern area, crews are seeking and extinguishing hot spots and making sure the burned areas are cold.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the evacuation order for the east side of Tassajara Road from Chews Ridge to Bruce Ranch; Bruce Ranch East along Anastasia Canyon to Carmel Valley Road and South Carmel Road from Anastasia Canyon to Tash Ranch.

Evacuation warnings were lifted from north of Carmel Valley Road from Hastings Preserve to Cahoon Ranch and north of Carmel Valley Road from Cahoon Ranch East to Tash Ranch. All other evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect. Information on evacuations is available at http://tinyurl.com/hcwvsro.

The lifting of the evacuation orders and warnings are the result of progress on the fire. Firefighters continue to complete and improve lines on the spot fires near Chews Ridge and Arroyo Seco.

For more information, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4888/ or follow us at www.facebook.com/LosPadresNationalForestor www.twitter.com/LosPadresNF.

Other contacts: SPCA, (831) 646-5534; American Red Cross, (866) 272-2237

Posted by: Stan Russell | September 25, 2016

NOTICE OF EVACUATIONS LIFTING

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Notice of Evacuations Lifting

The Monterey Sheriff’s Department has lifted the following evacuation orders and warnings as of 12pm, September 25:

The following order has been lifted:

(10 D & C) The East side of Tassajara Road from Chews Ridge to Bruce Ranch. Bruce Ranch East along Anastasia Canyon to Carmel Valley Road. South Carmel Valley Road from Anastasia Canyon to Tash Ranch (mi. 33.6)

The following warnings have been lifted:
(10 D-N, 11C, 11D)
North of Carmel Valley Road from Hastings Preserve to Cahoon Ranch. North of Carmel Valley Rd. from Cahoon Ranch East to Tash Ranch (mi. 33.6 Carmel Valley Road.

All previous evacuations for surrounding areas remain in place.

All other orders and warning remain in effect.

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