Posted by: Stan Russell | October 3, 2016

Soberanes Fire Update 10/3/16

U.S. Forest Service – Los Padres National Forest
Soberanes Fire
Daily Update: October 3, 2016

CONTACT: Fire Information Line: (831) 204-0446 — Media Line: (831) 484-964 —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: 132,092 acres (94,898 acres Los Padres National Forest; 37,194 acres CAL FIRE)

Containment: 94% Personnel: 1,110 Cause: Illegal campfire Injuries: 1 fatality, 9 injuries

Structures Destroyed:

57 homes, 11 outbuildings

Structures Threatened: 410 Crews: 18 Engines: 23
Helicopters: 15 Dozers: 7 Masticators: 4 Water Tenders: 3

Current Situation:

Hotshot crews were successful Saturday completing containment line over nearly an 8-mile stretch from English Cabin to Church Ranch. Strong winds that aligned with the Church Creek drainage tested those newly constructed containment lines Sunday. The fire did not cross these lines. Winds are not forecasted to be as strong Monday, but will once again align with the drainages and test firefighters efforts. Once this weather tests the lines, fire managers will mark them as black on the map.

A helispot was cleared in the area of Miller Fork. This will allow for safe landings to insert crews who will start work on eliminating hotspots along the fire’s edge. This direct work on the fireline will be the same as what was accomplished between English Cabin and Church Ranch.

A persistent burning log and other smoldering fuels along the North Fork of the Big Sur River is what is keeping fire managers from being able to mark that portion of the fire’s perimeter as contained. Helicopter reconnaissance flights, using infrared equipment, are being used to monitor and patrol the perimeter in this steep and rugged terrain. Once managers are confident that there is no chance of the fire flaring up, this area will be considered contained.

On the northeastern flank of the fire, crews are pulling hose and water pumps off the line along with all other excess equipment. Along the eastern side, towards the Arroyo Seco area, firefighters continue to mop-up, back-haul excess equipment, and patrol for hotspots. Hoselays in this area will remain for a couple more days until fire managers are sure they are no longer needed.

Suppression repair, which is fixing things that were damaged while putting the fire out, continued yesterday. It includes constructing berms or “water bars” to divert water from dozer lines and hand lines that were cleared down to mineral soil for use as firebreaks and contingency lines. In cooperation with the state of California, Bureau of Land Management, Los Padres National Forest and private landowners, the Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team will oversee the suppression repair work that remains to be done. This repair work is well underway on the western, southern and northeastern perimeters of the fire. Once the fire is safely contained the areas southeast of the fire will be addressed.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team is being activated. Their mission is focused on a long-term approach addressing damage caused by the fire itself. This differs from suppression repair which fixes what was damaged while extinguishing the fire. A BAER team looks at the extended consequences of the fire addressing erosion, slope stability and sedimentation of streams and rivers. BAER focuses on lands unlikely to recover naturally from wildand fire damage.

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