Posted by: Stan Russell | September 25, 2016

Soberanes Fire Update 9/25/16

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
September 25, 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: 126,693 acres (89,499 acres Los Padres National Forest; 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)

Containment: 77% Personnel: 2,072 Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 8 injuries

Structures Destroyed:

57 homes, 11 outbuildings

Structures Threatened: 410 Crews: 42 Engines: 97
Helicopters: 22 Dozers: 16 Masticators:4 Water Tenders: 15

Current Situation:

After evaluating weather and fire conditions, the Soberanes Fire incident management team has made the decision to go direct. Barring unexpected events, there will be no burnouts in the Arroyo Seco area. Recent days of favorable weather, including increases in relative humidity, have created conditions that allow firefighters to engage closer to the fireline.

Direct attack on a fire means constructing a containment line directly on the fire perimeter. The advantages:

· Minimal area is burned; no additional area is intentionally burned

· It is often the safest tactic because firefighters can usually escape into the burned area

· The uncertainties of firing operations can be reduced or eliminated

The disadvantages:

· Firefighters can be hampered by heat, smoke and flames

· Control lines can be long and irregular

· Burning material can easily spread across mid-slope lines

· Can only be initiated when escapes routes and safety zones are available

· More mop-up and patrol is usually required

On Saturday, crews maintained and improved the line around the Chews Ridge spot fire and will continue to do mop-up today. Crews also will continue to mop up the spot fire near Arroyo Seco.

The most active fire area is near Church Ranch, west of Tassajara Road. On Saturday, aircraft worked to cool the area. Firefighters are prepared to protect the Tassajara Zen Center in the event fire reaches that area.

Incident management staff participated in a well-attended public meeting on Saturday at Arroyo Seco.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect in the eastern areas of the fire. Information on evacuations is available at (click on the Announcements tab).

For more information, visit: or follow us at

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



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