Deadly Wildfire Burns Deep in Carmel Valley

Sep 20, 2015

LATEST CAL FIRE INFORMATION ON TASSAJARA FIRE  

A wildfire deep in Carmel Valley has killed one person. CalFire says the person who died was a civilian, not a firefighter.  The fire also destroyed or damaged at least ten homes and a number of outbuildings.

There’s a mandatory evacuation order in effect for residents who live on Tassajara Road between Carmel Valley Road and Cachagua Road.  Also the communities of Cachagua and Jamesburg are under an evacuation advisory.

A Red Cross evacuation center has been set up at Carmel Middle School at 4380 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel.  For shelter information call, 1-866-272-2237.

As of 9:00am Sunday the Tassajara Fire was about 1200 acres and 10% contained. Cal Fire’s Johnathan Pangburn says the wild fire is in a remote and relatively rugged area of Carmel Valley, which makes it a challenge to fight.

“There’s very steep terrain and most of the area has a lot of material to burn, so it is definitely not helped by the fact that we are under another heat wave with warm to hot conditions locally in Monterey County.  The weather service had called for potentially record breaking temperatures this weekend,” says Pangburn, a Cal Fire Spokesman.

The Tassajara Fire started around 3:00pm Saturday about the same time as a second fire known as the Laureles Fire, which started around 3:30pm off of Highway 68 near Laureles Grade.  That fire had part of the Monterey Salinas Highway closed until late Saturday night. It damaged one home.

As of 9:00am Sunday, the Laureles Fire was 95 acres and 85% contained.  It’s likely to be fully contained Sunday.   The causes of both fires are under investigation.

Cal Fire’s Pangburn adds these fires are a reminder to be ready for wildfire by maintaining defensible space around your home, having an evacuation plan and following orders to evacuate.  You can find more details about wildfire preparedness at readyforwildfire.org.