Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day 13

castle defense
    A modicum of good news as the Chimney fire continues to plague California's central coast, Hearst Castle is well defended. 
    Cal Fire and Hearst Fire personnel say the landmark is still threatened but precautions and fuel burns have lowered the risk slightly. In this erratic fire any help is good.
 photo by cambriacoffee
     Air quality remains poor over most of the area and people are fatigued by the constant tension. Evacuation orders around Lake Nacimiento have been lifted in some areas and imposed in others. People living along a mountain road between Cambria and San Simeon have been put on alert.
   Media coverage has also focused on the appreciation of residents for the valor and endurance of the fire fighters. 3,972 are on duty at this fire. There are now 327 fire engines, 105 hand crews, 16 helicopters and 7 air tankers. The hand crews struggle against the rugged terrain as well.
    Presently we all hold on to hope that favorable weather conditions will give the firefighters a couple of days to bring more containment. 43 thousand acres have been burned. 48 homes and 20 other structures have been destroyed. The fire is 39% contained. Hot weather and more wind is expected the first of the week.
       The Chimney fire burns within view of the Pacific Ocean.
The juxtaposition of a port town just a few miles away and the raging mountain fire is mind boggling to me.
     Wild fires on the coast seem absurd, but extreme drought and untended wild land are a dangerous combination.
     The fire has given us an opportunity to examine what has been the incredible lack of judgment by local government that has refused to fund a forest management plan. We'll examine this in more depth next week.
     So we continue to watch and wait. We also find joy in small pleasures, meals with friends, being able to enjoy the comfort of our home and an occasional sight that brings a smile.
      We caught this "throwback view" in San Luis Obispo near the train depot. There was a time in Boomer lives when back yard clothes lines were a special playscape. 

      See you down the trail.


  1. Ha! The clothesline brought back a lot of memories of my youth, too.

    Many bravos to the firefighters in California and throughout the West. They're doing an exemplary job.

  2. We hang our bath towels out in the sun and breeze...they smell great when you get out of the shower!

    How are the local vineyards doing with all the smoke?

  3. They've started harvesting some of the fruit, not because of the fire, but because it is ready. This is the earliest anyone can recall.
    As for the smoke, the concern is over extended exposure to the ash. It's been less than 2 weeks and in fact some of the vineyards are on hills or below ridge lines that may be exempt.

  4. It is early! We are so saddened by this. Thank you Tom for writing about the fires and keeping everyone updated.

    1. Thanks Jan. Our best to you. We'll make sure to preserve some of the Paso wine for your next visit this way.

  5. Glad to hear the irreplaceable Hearst Castle is being well protected. And I can't recall the last time I saw a clothesline.

  6. Given the tension of the fire that clothesline was an unexpected pleasure.