Soberanes Fire: Watching the Smoldering Edge in Carmel Highlands

Jul 25, 2016

Twenty homes have been destroyed in the Soberanes Fire which continues to burn near Carmel Highlands and in Big Sur.  As of Monday, the fire has grown to nearly 15,000 acres and is still just 5% contained.  

The smoldering edge of the Soberanes Fire is high on a ridge behind Jill Jackson’s Carmel Highlands home.  Standing on her roof deck, she’s has a clear view as it flares up.

“Well you see  flame right there, a tree just ignited,” says Jackson as she points to a tree that burns out.

She says she feels safe though because firefighters are camped out on her street.  There’s nearly one engine for each home here. They’re just ready and waiting should the fire flare back up and take a turn toward this neighborhood.

“ For me it’s not nerve wracking.  It’s I’m watching it.  I’m trusting these guys and these girls that they know what they’re doing.  We haven’t been told to evacuate yet,” says Jackson.

This home has been in her wife Kevin’s family for decades.  Normally they come up here to enjoy the view of nature.   Now it’s a waiting game.

“Because at any moment if the wind changes… You know the fog has started to lift, and before it was so thick that the fog was actually helping them keep the fire at bay.   So it’s a matter of what’s nature going to do,” say Jackson.

The Soberanes Fire has been burning since Friday morning.  One of the biggest challenges for firefighters is that its burning in a rugged and remote area.  CalFire’s Raymond Martinez.

“There’s not a lot of roads to this area. And that’s the biggest factor right now. The steep terrain. The inability to get the equipment in there.  Those engines. Those bulldozers.  And the crews have to walk in from advantageous points to do that. So it takes a long time,” says Raymond Martinez with CalFire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.