Monterey County

New details on why the Soberanes fire containment date is pushed back

BIG SUR, Calif. - Fire officials said they now expect the fire to be contained by the end of September instead of August because they've changed their tactics.

Officials told KION that the threat to structures has decreased, so crews are now shifting to letting the fire burn more naturally, as opposed to conducting controlled burns. 

They believe a more natural progression is also healthier and safer for both the wilderness and firefighters who are having difficulty accessing the fire in steep and inaccessible terrain.

"Putting people into the wilderness, there aren't trail systems, there aren't ways to extricate people or extract them if they're injured," said Mike Lindberry, Soberanes Public Information Officer. "We can't count on the air support. There's just no place to go if there's a big run of fire."

Fire officials said they are still using firing operations in some areas to prevent the fire from jumping over the Coast Ridge and moving down toward the highway.

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