Posted by: Stan Russell | August 19, 2016

Soberanes Fire Update, August 19, 2016

Soberanes Fire
Los Padres National Forest Service
August 19, 2016

Fire Information Phone: (530) 629-2149


Incident: The Soberanes Fire was started by an Illegal campfire on the morning of July 22, 2016, in the Garrapata State Park. The fire is burning in areas of previous large fires including the Basin Complex in 2008 and the Marble-Cone Fire in 1977.
Location: Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness

Agency Jurisdiction: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit/Los Padres National Forest
Cooperating Agencies and Assisting Organizations: CA State Parks and Recreation, CHP, CAL-OES, CDCR, CA National Guard, Big Sur Land Trust, CAL-TRANS, CCC, CA Fish & Wildlife, BLM, American Red Cross, the County of Monterey, PG&E, Carmel Highlands F.P.D., Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District, Mid Coast Volunteer Fire Brigade, Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Cachagua Volunteer Fire Company.

Current Size: 81,396 acres (37,194 Cal Fire, 44,202 CA-LPF)
Containment: 60%
Cause: Illegal campfire
Injuries: 1 fatality, 3 injuries
Structures Destroyed: 57 homes, 11 outbuildings
Structures Threatened: 410
Current Resources: Crews: 48 Engines: 79 Helicopters: 15 Dozers: 33 Water Tenders: 64
Total Personnel: 2690

Command of the fire has transitioned to California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 from CAL FIRE TEAM 4. Fire remains in Unified command with CAL FIRE, Monterey County Sheriff and the USDA Forest Service.

Current Situation: Today is the twenty-eighth day firefighters have been battling the Soberanes Fire Crews are engaged in fire suppression repair from Andrew Molera State Park north to Carmel Highlands, and South of the Carmel Valley. Further to the south, in advance of the fire, crews are constructing and improving firelines for potential firing operations. The daily increase in acres burned is due to tactical firing operations and forward progress of the fire within the wilderness, mostly in the Mt. Uncle Sam area and Logwood Creek.

Wilderness Tactics: To reduce the impacts associated with fire suppression activities in wilderness areas, crews are using MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics) as much as possible. The steep and rugged terrain of the Ventana Wilderness is inherently treacherous to firefighters. Most direct fireline is being constructed near the perimeter in areas that have been pretreated and supported by aircraft.

Anyone with information regarding the cause of the Soberanes Fire is asked to call the CAL FIRE Tip Line at: (800) 468-4408.

US Forest Service Road and Trail Closures: A forest closure order has been implemented to close the trails and roads within the Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Ranger District pursuant to USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a). The order prohibits going into or being upon National Forest System lands within the Soberanes Fire area. The Arroyo Seco Campground and Day Use Area is closed. For a complete list of closures please visit:

California State Park Closures: All California State Parks from Garrapata State Park through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are closed until further notice; which includes Point Sur State Historic Park (Lighthouse), Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground and Day Use.

Evacuation Orders: An evacuation ORDER remains in effect for Coast Ridge Rd. from mile marker 1.5 to Marble Peak at the end of the road.

Evacuation Warnings: Evacuation WARNINGS remain in effect for the east side of HWY 1 from Andrew Molera Park to Coast Ridge Rd at the Ventana Inn. This area includes the Ventana Inn and Coast Ridge Rd to mile marker 1.5. A WARNING remains for Tassajara Road from Carmel Valley Road to the Tassajara Hot Springs Zen Center. This area includes all roads that lead from the above described roads.

Residents should prepare to leave the areas listed above and be sure to take any medications, pets, family valuables, etc. with you. Close all windows and leave all doors closed.

All residents are asked to be READY: Create and maintain defensible space and harden your home against flying embers. Get SET: Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Leave early! Take the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire. For more information on “Ready, Set, Go”, go to

DONATIONS: The American Red Cross is very grateful for the offers of assistance, but at this time we are not able to accept in-kind donations such as food and clothing. If people have questions about in-kind donations related to the Soberanes Fire, they should contact, which is a local web site that matches people who have supplies and other in-kind donations with people who have those same needs. To list an item that could be donated or to list a need, individuals are asked to submit that information on the organization’s web The organization’s phone number is 831-649-3050. People can help those affected by disasters by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit, call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


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