The Soberanes Fire is now nearly 34,000 acres and 15% contained. As the fire continues to grow, it’s also slowly moving to the south and the east toward the Los Padres National Forest.
“If it continues on its current pathway, it will be moving away from populated areas into more of the wilderness area,” says CalFire Battalion Chief Robert Fish.
CalFire is working to keep it on that path. Bulldozers have built lines to protect Carmel Valley by clearing out vegetation, and anything that could fuel a fire if it were to shift that way.
“It’s almost like creating layers of defense, and you can see the same thing is starting to occur here in Big Sur. That they’re building line here, here,” says Fish while pointing to a map which shows where bull dozers are working on lines to protect the community of Big Sur.
He says once it’s in the wilderness the tactics will change.
“In order to have less of a heavy footprint on the ecology and recovery of the forest. But it doesn’t change the fundamental importance on protecting life and property, but fortunately there’s very little life and property from an urban standpoint in those areas,” says Fish.
An evacuation order for Carmel Highlands was lifted Friday evening allowing many people to return home. The fire has destroyed 57 houses and claimed the life of one bull dozer operator. 2000 structures remain threatened.
CalFire expects full containment by August 31st. The cause remains under investigation.