Monterey County

Crews use warmer weather to fight Soberanes fire

BIG SUR, Calif. - Retardant and water are being dropped as backburns are underway on ridgetops.

"We're focusing our efforts on securing the Big Sur area," said Jacob Welsh, Soberanes fire Public Information Officer. "It tends to burn slower when it goes downhill, when it does uphill and that's why we've had limited growth the last two days."

Crews are still fighting fire with fire, burning vegetation to create containment lines.

"So what we're doing is trying to create a solid, secure, fuel break so the fire will not progress toward Big Sur," said Welsh.

Wet weather has slowed down firing operations, now they're taking advantage of the warmer temperatures and decreased humidity.

"It's dry enough to get an effective burn and so that's a good thing," said Bruce Macdonald, Soberanes fire Safety Manager.

Since the inferno is burning in steep and inaccessible terrain, they're focusing on the edges of the fire. Crews are going from uphill to downhill.

"That keeps the intensity of the fire lower," said Macdonald.

Firefighters are hoping to have the Soberanes fire fully contained by the end of August.

"Our biggest concern is public safety and firefighter safety," said Welsh.

Fire officials are asking people to be mindful of firefighter traffic and equipment while driving. They're also asking people not to fly drones anywhere around the wildfire which could shut down their air operations.

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