A small fire began Saturday afternoon in the Pine Barrens area of the Penn State Forest in Southern New Jersey. In less than two days, the Spring Hill Fire proceeded to burn over 11,000 acres. By 8am EDT Monday morning, crews reported they had the fire contained. Firefighters will remain on scene to monitor the fire since some areas are still burning. Full fire containment means the fire resources no longer believe the fire will grow or move out of the area it already scorched; however, a contained fire is not necessarily ‘out’. Additionally, nearby towns will likely still see, and possibly smell, smoke from the fire. While the cause of the blaze has not been confirmed, it is believed to have been human-caused. In addition to the fire occurring in an area known for illegal bonfires, the fire burned in an area that had no lightning strikes reported, has no power lines nearby, and was not conducting any prescribed or planned. Read more
Soberanes Fire Recap
The Soberanes Fire in northern California has finally wound down, with officials marking the blaze at 100% contained as of Wednesday evening (10/12). The fire ignited from an illegal campfire on July 22nd–a full twelve weeks ago–and in the first week, destroyed 57 residences and 11 outbuildings. Luckily, no other losses have been reported since then.
How Soberanes Compares to Other Fires
The progress of the fire has been mostly stalled for weeks, with fire crews focusing on building containment lines in the troublesome and rugged terrain of the Ventana Wilderness (LPF). Subsequently, the fire perimeter and acreage has not budged much since late September. Collectively, the fire has topped a record $250m in suppression costs, dwarfing the previous high from 2002 of $165m (Biscuit Fire). The Soberanes Fire finished its run at 132,127 acres which is good for 17th place in California’s documented history and 6th largest ever in the Los Padres National Forest. The sheer size of the wildfire is apparent in comparison to both the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.
Soberanes Fire Facts (10/14)
- Started: July 22nd, 2016
- Contained: Oct 12th, 2016 (83 days)
- Location: Big Sur, CA
- Size: 132,127 acres
- 94,933 acres CA-LPF – 72%
- 37,194 acres CALFIRE BEU – 28%
- Containment: 100%
- Fire Behavior: Interior smoldering with sporadic smoke possible.
- Structures Threatened: 0
- Structures Destroyed: 68 (57 primary, 11 outbuildings)
- Cost to Date: $249.9+ million
- Incident Page: Inciweb
- News Article: KSBW News
Since the blaze began, seven different incident management teams have been assigned to the storied fire (see list below). California’s IMT2 (Mills) team is expected to see out the remaining 21% of suppression repair and continue to BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) operations. The full list of IMTs assigned to Soberanes:
- CAL FIRE Team 4 IC (Derum) taking command on 07/23/2016 at 1200
- CAL FIRE IMT (Derum) in unified command with CA IMT1 (von Tillow) on 08/05/2016
- CA IMT1 (von Tillow) in unified command with CAL FIRE IMT (King BEU) 08/19/2016 at 0600
- CA IMT1 (von Tillow) transferred command to AK IMT1 (Kurth) @ 0700 8/24/2016, No more unified command
- CA IMT1 (Opliger) will transition on 09/13/2016 at 0600
- CA IMT2 (Arroyo) assumed command of incident 09/29/2016 at 0800
- CA IMT2 (Mills) will assume command 10/13/2016 at 0600
LAFD and Angeles National Forest firefighters responded Monday (May 23) to a fast moving brush fire off Wheatland Avenue in the hills above Lakeview Terrace. Around 3 pm, the (then reportedly 8 acre) slope- and wind-driven fire moved north into a canyon and away from nearby structures. As the fire grew to 50 and then 100 acres, it moved into the Angeles National Forest where firefighters established a containment line and aggressively suppressed the flame front with air resources. By late Monday evening, the Wheatland fire had reached the peak of the small range above the fire’s origin and stalled as humidity rose and the sun fell. As of this morning (May 24), the fire is estimated at 183 acres and is reportedly 35% contained.
RedZone’s intelligence center (RZIntel) watched the event unfold as the fire marched up the mountainside using live helicopter coverage from several Los Angeles media sources. RZIntel updated the Wheatland Fire situation as numerous resources were ordered, hazards were identified, command of the fire changed hands, and the fire’s extent progressed up the mountainside. An estimation of Wheatland fire’s total progression is shown the map below.
The US Forest Service has established an incident page for the Wheatland Fire which can be seen here.
- ‘Wheatland’ Fire
- Started 2:23 PM Monday, May 23rd
- Angeles National Forest above Lakeview Terrace
- 183 Acres
- 35% Contained
- Planned Action: Mop-up and Patrol