Thursday, August 18, 2016

How are you doing out there? A little smokey? UPDATE

     We don't see much of this after winter and spring-green.
A network of springs under lace Cambria and this property not far from the east Village bears witness. The hills in the distance provide the dry counterpoint. 
thanks for the concern
    Friends back east write or call and ask how we are doing in this fire season. Two of California's wild fires have created air quality issues and some ash, but we are fortunate.
    Those "clouds" you see in the center of the picture are smoke from the Chimney Fire burning south of Lake Nacimiento. The map below provides a setting and relationship to Cambria, on the coast.
    The peak is Rocky Butte, some 3,200 feet.  Friends who live near the summit have a commanding view toward the ocean and back toward Lake Nacimiento, though now they are often inundated with smoke.
    **New Statistics--11PM PT  8/18
   The Chimney Fire has burned more than 11,000 acres and destroyed 45 homes in six days. 2,459firefighters are on the scene along with 170 engines, 7 air tankers, 13 helicopters, 28 dozers, 34 water tenders and 71crews. It is less than 35% contained.
   In the scene below you see dark and white smoke. Generally the darker smoke indicates a hotter burn producing more carbon.
      Fire season is the negative of living in rural or small town California.  
     Tourists do not always appreciate the frequent summer fog that rolls in during the evening and hangs around until mid-day, but locals love and depend on it. We call it May Gray, June Gloom, No Sky July and Fogust.
     Our native Monterey Pine survives by capturing the fog. Many of our other drought tolerant and Mediterranean climate flora get the only moisture they need from the atmosphere.
     The fog is a creation of the ocean temperature and the heat of the arid climate on the eastern side of our Santa Lucia coastal mountain range. In essence the heat of Paso Robles and the east side "draws" or "sucks" the cooler air through the mountain passes and canyons and a by product is our blessed flog.
      Rain is rare before October and rain season ends in March so every ounce of fog, marine haze, mist or humidity is a source of gratitude. 
       Last week ash from the Soberness fire North of Big Sur
some 45 minutes to an hour north created enough ash that it collected on surfaces here in Cambria. The last few days the wind direction has kept the ash away and the air has been cleaner.
     This is a portion of the burn area of the Soberness fire that has burned 79 thousand acres and destroyed 57 homes and structures. The top end of the blaze is toward Carmel Valley. It has forced the closure of the legendary Pacific Coast Highway, just north of the top of the frame.  It is now 60% contained.

     So thanks for your concerns. Keep the brave fire fighters in your thoughts and prayers. Many of the crews are hand fighting in rugged terrain, along mountain sides and in bone dry forests and scrub woodland.  

      See you down the trail.



  1. All I can add to that is "stay close to the ocean."

  2. Here's an add to the post. It comes from a Cambria friend Ann who makes a good point.

    "Tom, yesterday at the Cookie Crock, I was standing in line behind several men from Cal Fire. They looked exhausted. Huge pile of food. In answer to a question from the bagger, they'd been working for 25 days. The man closest to me apologized for the long wait as the food was being checked. I thanked him for what they are doing."


  3. Thanks for this update. I've been thinking about you in relation to these fires and hoping you were okay.