Tassajara Fire causes evacuations southeast of Carmel Valley, California

(UPDATE at 7:52 a.m. PT, September 21, 2015)

The latest overflight of a heat-sensing satellite at 3 a.m. PT today did not detect any large concentrations of heat on the Tassajara Fire southeast of Carmel Valley, California. That does not mean the fire is out, just that the activity has decreased to the point that the sensors, hundreds of miles above the Earth, can’t detect it.

CAL FIRE’s update at 7:35 a.m. on Monday listed the fire at 1,086 acres with 30 percent containment. There was no change in the status of damaged or destroyed structures. There are 260 personnel assigned, 35 fire engines, 7 hand crews, and 2 helicopters.

The loss of any residence is terrible, but one is especially tragic. The home of a Cachagua Firefighter, Bob Eaton, burned while he was out fighting the fire and working to save the property of others.


(UPDATED at 7:34 p.m. PT, September 20, 2015)

A satellite overflight at 1:01 p.m. PT on Sunday did not show much additional spread of the Tassajara Fire, which is burning 9 miles southeast of Carmel Valley in California. The area that showed the most heat was at the north end of the fire, west of East Carmel Valley Road and north of Tassajara Road.

The last update from CAL FIRE said the fire has burned 1,086 acres. They are calling it 30 percent contained. The report on structures was “10 residences damaged or destroyed, numerous outbuildings”.

CAL FIRE reported that there was a civilian fatality in the fire, but released no other details.

From the Monterey Herald late Sunday afternoon

Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Thornburg said firefighters found a car in the burn area, put the fire out, and found the body of a male of unknown age.

Slostringer shot this excellent video at the Tassajara Fire on September 19. It starts off with a retardant drop by a P2V air tanker, but be sure to watch what happens at 3:30, which illustrates a common mechanism of injury for many wildland firefighters.



(Originally published at 7:47 a.m. PT, September 20, 2015; updated at 8:47 a.m.)

map of the Tassajara Fire
Vicinity map of the Tassajara Fire (represented by the red dots) 9 miles southeast of Carmel Valley, California.

The Tassajara Fire 9 miles southeast of Carmel Valley, California has burned approximately 1,200 acres, according to CAL FIRE in a late Sunday night update. The fire was reported at about 3 p.m. Saturday and grew quickly. Sunday morning CAL FIRE reported it is holding at 1,200 acres, is 10 percent contained, and 10 residences have been damaged.

The fire is just north of Jamesburg, 14 miles west of Soledad, and 13 miles northeast of Big Sur. As of 1:41 a.m. PT on Sunday it was burning west of East Carmel Valley Road, and on both sides of Tassajara Road/Conejo Grade, according to data from a heat-sensing satellite.

Air tanker Tassajara fire
An air tanker drops as the sun sets on the Tassajara fire, September 19, 2015. Photo by Hastings Natural History Reserve.

Resources working the fire include 5 air tankers, 2 helicopters, 35 engines, and 27 crews. CAL FIRE planned to have their fire aviation assets available or over the fire at 8 a.m. Sunday.

At about the time the fire started, the temperature at the Hastings weather station 2 miles northeast of Jamesburg was 92, the relative humidity was 15 percent, and the winds that afternoon were 8-12 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.

The forecast for Sunday calls for very warm conditions: temperature near 100, variable winds of 2-7 mph, and a relative humidity of 10-15 percent.

map of the Tassajara Fire
The red dots represent the APPROXIMATE locations of heat detected by a satellite on the Tassajara Fire at 1:41 a.m. PT, September 20, 2015, 9 miles southeast of Carmel Valley, California.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

10 thoughts on “Tassajara Fire causes evacuations southeast of Carmel Valley, California”

  1. Trish,

    Fire is many miles away from Arroyo Seco; currently, the southern fire line is holding at Parrot Ranch Road in the Cachagua/Tassajara area; it would have to go into the national forest before it gets to Arroyo Seco

  2. I’m in Lake County and we have been through it with fires this year. And now more fires. Will it ever end?!@

    I have two family members residing in Monterey County and I hope the Tassajara fire doesn’t spread too far, too fast. Fingers and toes are crossed.

    I pray a safe journey for all the firefighters and the agencies that work in concert with them. Thank you for having the courage and skills to face these fire-beast.

  3. no problem; my wife is an EMT on Cachagua Fire, so I’ve known about these resources for a while; and even though I don’t *do* Facebook, CFC’s webmaster does a great job of posting updates, even though he’s currently on the East coast

  4. Cachagua Fire’s Facebook page is pretty good at supplying updates:


    You can also listen in to radio traffic on firescan.net; click “access by units paged”, then the San Benito-Monterey unit; unfortunately, a lot of the traffic is static-y, due to the rugged terrain, and you will also get a lot of unrelated calls from the whole county; on the plus side, it goes quickly–it takes about 2-3 min to listen to calls made in a 30-min period

  5. <~~~~~~Thanks for This ; Very Important to ALL~. Family and Very Close Friends ARE located in Cachagua / Jameburg / Tassajara. ANY Updates are GREATLY Appreciated. God Bless…………………….dvh


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