July 10th Palo Colorado Fire Meeting Summary

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We continue to be under evacuation advisory with a soft close on our road.

Hello, Palo Colorado! Today was a particularly interesting day for me, as I spent it volunteering at the Mid-Coast Fire Station. I loved getting to know the fire fighters more closely, and at the meeting we all seemed to be feeling gratitude for their hard work. As Scott announced each of them, they received a hearty round of applause. The CPOA is looking into supporting the fire fighters who have all had to take leaves from their paid jobs to volunteer their time to protect us.

Again, I encourage everyone who can, to please donate money or volunteer time, and many of you have. Many of you have not, however, paid your fire dues for the year. We are all asked to pay $200 a year in fire dues. If you have not paid you dues, please do as soon as you can. To make donations, please send them to:

Mid-Coast Fire Brigade
Palo Colorado
Carmel, CA 93923
Donations are 501C3 tax deductible

Onto the real news:

Today we saw a large plume of smoke that emanated from “The Saddle” next to Devil’s Peak. While this was quite dramatic, it was inside of containment lines and is what they refer to as an “island.” The thought is that the heat that has been sitting there for so long finally dried out the materials and they all caught fire causing a large amount of burning.

This must have been quite dramatic in Carmel Valley and Cachagua. We were told that they are in the situation that we were in about a week ago, meaning that the fire is advancing in their direction, and they are racing to back burn before the fire advances too far. Back burning operations continue to go well, and they hope to finish before the fire meets the dozer lines.

Today they finished back burning to H-28 which is Big Pines. Tonight they plan to continue to back burn to H-29 which is about 2 miles East. This is difficult terrain, and a relatively dangerous burn for the fire fighters, as the fire is moving uphill in the area, which means it burns faster. The back burn will be handled by a hot shot crew.

Many of us saw helicopters today. They were being filling drop buckets by using a “pumpkin” which is a portable water basin. The pumpkin was located just behind the fire house, which is why so many people saw and heard the activity.

The fire moved through Tassajara today. There was no structural damage, and the fire burned around the Zen Center.

We continue to be in red flag warnings for weather. We hope to be out of the red flag warning soon, although this will probably hold for the higher elevations for a while. There is talk of thunderstorms. There is a 20% chance of storms here, but they would come from the East to the West, which is less of a threat.

Here is the weather outlook, courtesy of NOAA.

Overnight: Clear, with a steady temperature around 67. Southwest wind between 3 and 6 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 75. Southwest wind between 6 and 9 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 60. South southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph.

Saturday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 76. South southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph.

Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. South wind between 3 and 8 mph.

Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 76.

Sunday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Monday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 74.

Monday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 53.

Tuesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 71.

Tuesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

Wednesday Night: Patchy fog after 11pm. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 54.

Thursday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 72.

We were told that the wilderness will be closed for quite a while. There is still fire activity, and we will continue to see hot spots and islands flare up for a while. The wilderness may not be able to re-open until it rains.

We were reminded that when this is all over, we will be a small island of fuel, and that we must continue to be diligent in our clearing and maintenance.

Phil Yenovkian of OES came and told us that the county crew that had been clearing the road was taken out as we are competing for resources, but that they will be back. OES is working to get grants to continue this clearing.

Jerri told us that the maps are looking good, and that she will be using a GPS device to mark the exact location of each of our homes. She will call ahead, but will need to come onto each of our properties to take the GPS reading. She will start on Greenridge and lower Greenridge. We are reminded that these maps will remain confidential.

Finally, we were told that once this fire merges with the Indians Fire (which it may have already) and all is said and done, they expect that 250,00 acres will have burned. This will be the largest fire in California’s history. That is a record I hope I never see broken.

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