Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1980 Old Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93464
Start / Report Date: Aug. 18, 2020 Cause: Unknown
Fuels Involved: Chaparral, Brush, Timber understory
Location: Hwy 1(MM32.20) N of Limekiln State Park, 10 miles S of Big Sur
Hand Crews: 9
Fixed wing: 1
Water Tenders: 6
Total Personnel: 579 Current Situation:
A Red Flag Warning remains in effect and will be in place until Monday evening, August 24, at 5:00 p.m. Thunderstorms with little to no precipitation are possible, particularly this evening and into the early morning, and will be accompanied by erratic and gusty outflow winds.
The fire is primarily backing, and the fire footprint has not significantly changed. Crews have made considerable progress creating dozer line to the North towards Partington Ridge. Crews began direct attack along the fire’s Southeast edge and continued point protection operations around Hermitage and Lucia. Today, firefighters secured more of the western perimeter of the fire along Hwy 1. Falling rocks and the potential of spot fires across the road remain as concerns on Hwy 1.
Aerial resources took advantage of clear skies to assist ground resources with retardant and bucket drops. However, smoke impacted air operations. As air quality and visibility improve, aviation assets will support crews on the ground.
Today, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department entered into unified command with California Incident Management Team 2 and Big Sur Fire. The incident management team completed the move into a new incident command post at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
The fire is threatening the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge, and Lucia. Multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites are also threatened. Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness and coastal watershed and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor.
Fire activity in the western United States has caused a high demand for fire personnel and equipment. The nation is in Preparedness Level 5 (PL5), the highest level. In PL5 over 80% of the nation’s incident management teams and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to incidents. Resource orders are being prioritized to fires across California and the west. Acreage reported here is an estimate and will be updated when IR images are available.
Carmel Fire Info: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/18/carmel-fire/
River Fire Info: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/16/river-fire/
Updates and Meetings: Fire Information is producing two daily written updates. To request an update, email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your email address. A daily video update will be posted to the Los Padres National Forest Facebook page and Inciweb (See links in header).
Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect over the fire area for thunderstorms, dry lightning and gusty outflow winds.
Evacuations / Closures: Click here for an interactive map of Monterey County evacuations.
Smoke: The Monterey Bay Air Resources District has issued a Wildfire Air Quality Advisory. When the concentration of smoke has reached UNHEALTHY levels of the AQI, residents should limit their activity by staying indoors with the doors and windows closed to avoid breathing smoke. Updates on the current air quality forecast and Air Monitoring data can be found at http://air.mbard.org/.
A!ert Monterey County: To receive emergency notifications regarding evacuations and critical events in Monterey County please sign up for A!ert Monterey County at the following website: https://member.everbridge.net/453003085611217/login.
Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: National Weather Service, California Highway Patrol, Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, Big Sur Volunteers, Cal Trans, California State Parks, OES, Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Safety Message: This will be a long duration event. Residents in the affected area are encouraged to continue to prepare for the possibility of fire in their area in advance. Go to https://www.ready.gov/wildfires to learn how to prepare.