While Pacific Grove prepares for pageant day of the Feast of Lanterns at Lovers Point, firefighters are already on the fire line, battling the Soberness Fire near Big Sur. Cal Fire’s morning update shows, at 6:35 a.m., that the fire is at 33,668 acres and 15 percent contained. In response to those who have asked, the fireworks will not likely be cancelled. they are directed out over the bay. But in the interest of air quality, beach fires in Monterey have been prohibited. All camping in the Big Sur area has also been cancelled and the campers evacuated, including Boy Scouts at Pico Blanco and state parks.
There have been 57 homes and 11 outbuildings destroyed, while another 2,000 are threatened.
There has been one fatality. A Contracted bulldozer operator was clearing a fire break when his bulldozer rolled over on him. Robert Oliver Reagan III was from Friant (near Fresno) California. He was married and had two little girls.
Per unified command at California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 the projected FINAL size is now estimated to be 170,000 acres at an estimated cost of $80 million. Cost to date $29.5 million. The cost of supporting the 5,053 personnel (current total) and equipment assigned to the fire is $6 million per day.
No cause has of yet been learned nor speculation announced.
The Red Cross disaster evacuation relief center at Carmel Valley Middle School has been placed on hold as of Fri., July 29. Officials say that it has been underutilized, perhaps due to the proximity to hotels, motels, friends, and family of evacuees. The Red Cross is still available to help.
The SPCA evacuation center at Carmel Valley Middle School has also been placed in abeyance. Animals may be taken to the SPCA facility on Highway 68, where they are currently housing dozens of evacuated animals – everything from a tarantula, a snake and geckos to horses, goats, turkeys, and cats and dogs.