La Brea Fire Pushing East and Southeast

Updated Image below; from Noon today

Predicatively the La Brea wildfire is moving now with the prevailing winds. This wind and terrain driven fire will continue to move east and southeast through unburned areas of the San Rafael Wilderness within the Los Padres National Forest.

The advertised acreage is just under 67,000 but figuring infills from firing operations and activity to the east ans S/E and the fire is probably closer to 80,000 acres at the moment.

GeoMac is not real time but it is the closest tool outside observers have.

Notice how the south edge of the fire is bumping along the 2007 Zaca burn. The guys are doing a great job of utilizing the repaired 2007 dozer lines and the Sisquoc Creek/River drainage.

The Pincha-Tulley team is keeping cost figures from the public. In the past this information was passed along to the public through Inciweb. I suggest they want to downplay containment costs as policy now.

For those wondering like me, where are the supertankers? That 20,000 gallon 747 is just sitting out in the Mojave desert like a pretty bridesmaid waiting to get the call.

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Updated image, noon today. In the heat detection image below the software indicates numerous spots to the west, east and south. With the afternoon heating and gathering winds these spot fires will challenge firefighters who are already tired.

(Click image to enlarge)

7 Comments

  • Midwest Fire Trucks says:

    man, some of these fires just amaze me.

  • Anonymous says:

    For all that participated, I wonder if this fire shouldn't be called "Zaca III"

  • Mike D. says:

    Costs to Date: $11,271,514 reported at 6:00PM 08/14, but like the acreage reported, the cost numbers are probably an underestimate or from an earlier accounting. A rough rule of thumb is that each individual represents a cost of $1,000 per day. Since there are ~2,000 personnel (today), the costs are roughly $2 million per day. That rule of thumb can be less accurate (plus or minus) when there is less or more aerial attack.

  • Mike says:

    Kate I will like to see that plane photo.

    Joseph, my initial inclination once this fire started was the same as yours, let it burn. As you know 4 Cal Fire/CDF firefighters died on this property 30 years ago this month essentially for nothing.

    You are right, the forest needs to burn for its own health and this is Wilderness designated ground.

    I'm thinking the firing operations, in wind may have only added to the destruction judging by the slopovers apparent in the heat images.

    Tough to judge after the fact and I might be wrong but there is no doubt this fire is now a huge mess.

    Concerning costs….. ironically the slow response by the Forest Service in getting an adequate force on the ground (1,000 in the first 60 hours), may have been an attempt to keep costs down.

    Plus the fact they have made it clear the big tankers, aside from the 7,000 gallon Martin Mars would not be paid for on fed land indicates they are penny pinching.

    This is a new game for them. They have always milked a good fire, it is in the USFS DNA.

  • Joseph says:

    Let this one burn. Our state has no money and their are no structures in this wilderness area. Yeah it is sad to see, especially after I've hike the trails that burned in the Zaca fire, but let it burn. It needs to just burn.

  • bigsurkate says:

    I have a photo of the Martin Mars from yesterday that I will post soon, I hope. Busy with updates at the moment.

    That La Brea fire is one helluva fire.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Martin Mars is working this fire.