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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Dolan Fire stats

Dolan Fire stats

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Re: Dolan Fire stats

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:32 am

The Dolan Fire incident site has this to say re fuels:

Recent burn scars, such as the 2016 Soberanes, have helped reduce fire spread. In the 2008 fire scar areas, where shrub growth is recent the fuels are not receptive. Where there are dead fuel components (older, decadent brush) fuels are receptive and are carrying/consuming well.
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Re: Dolan Fire stats

Postby K Vandevere on Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:46 pm

While it's not surprising that a 4 year old burn scar would carry fire less well than areas that haven't burned in 12 years (isn't chaparral supposed to take around 6 years to recover its ability to carry fire?), the thing I found most interesting was how effective Lost Valley Creek and the Arroyo Seco River were as fire breaks. The fire burned the entire south shore of Lost Valley Creek from Lost Valley Camp to the confluence with the Arroyo Seco River and the east shore of the Arroyo Seco River from there nearly to Horse Bridge without ever getting across (and most of the fuel beds the fire was facing across these streams were unburned in the Soberanes Fire). The natural firebreak provided by the streams was aided, at times, by helicopter water drops, but the main factor seems to have been a lack of south wind during the critical days when the fire was burning in this area. Without any breeze to blow embers across, the streams stopped the fire cold (and probably prevented it from reaching Tassajara, which had no Soberanes Fire scar between it and the fire on the east bank of the Arroyo Seco).

It was also interesting how, as soon as the weather turned less favorable for burning, the Forest Service, primarily through helicopter drops, was able to stop the fire dead in its tracks just east of the summit of JSP, in some of the driest, brushiest, and most difficult terrain imaginable. Fuel load certainly makes a difference, but nothing dictates fire behavior and intensity quite like the weather.
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Dolan Fire stats

Postby jack_glendening on Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:56 am

FYI the Dolan Fire will have burned 25% of the National Forest in Monterey County (28% of the wilderness area). This compares with 33% for the Soberanes Fire (32% of the wilderness area).

So roughly speaking each burned ~30% of the NationalForest/wilderness area here - and since the fires did not overlap, that means ~60% has burned in the last 4 years!

Jack

PS: interesting to note that the Dolan Fire licked at the edges of the Soberanes burn area but essentially stopped there - don't know how much might be due to firefighter action, but strengthens the idea that large fires occur because of a build-up of unburnt material.
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