Monterey County

Soberanes firefighters still face steep challenges

Firefighters moved away from Soberanes Fire

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Some of the personnel and equipment involved in fighting the Soberanes Fire are being redeployed. According Cal Fire officials, at least 44 firefighters, 10 fire engines and some air resources are moving to Southern California to fight the Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County.

As crews make progress pushing the Soberanes Fire into the wilderness away from Big Sur, Cal Fire is making a change.

"As fires break out in Southern California, we have to remove people to send them to other fires," said public information officer, Brendan Hollie.

The fastest growing fire in California is the Blue Cut Fire. In a little more than a day, the fire exploded from 5 acres to 30,000 acres.

"That area (San Bernardino County) is prone to shifting wind gusts and so what we have is a situation that has evolved from just that one spark," said Rick Crawford, a public information officer for the Soberanes Fire.

With the Blue Cut Fire in mind, Cal Fire moved resources to San Bernardino County to help out.

"It's always a challenge when you are trying to forecast what you need, what other people need and what you need to get your job done," said Hollie.

According Cal Fire, they do resource counts every 24 hours and concluded that they could send some firefighters and equipment away from the Central Coast without there being a threat.

"They figure out a plan that works for everybody to maintain what they need to get their jobs done," said Hollie.

As crews keep moving the fire into the Ventana Wilderness, another challenge has appeared.

"Once we get people inside of that steep, inaccessible terrain, it's a big safety factor, it's not easy to get out," said Crawford.

The terrain crews are facing is one of the most difficult parts of fighting this fire, according to Cal Fire.

"It just goes up and down, and getting people on the ground is really the biggest problem they are facing out there," said Hollie.

Cal Fire said that they are going to keep pushing the fire into the uninhabited area of the wilderness, then if crews see good weather they will try to put out the main fire.

"Then we can get our crews in front of the fire for final extinguishment, which is right now tentatively schedule for Aug. 31," said Crawford.

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