Damage assessment teams document 57 homes destroyed in Soberanes Fire

Soberanes Fire

By Ryan Maye Handy and Bill Gabbert

(UPDATED at 12:27 p.m. MDT August 2, 2016)

Soberanes Fire map
Map of the Soberanes Fire at 2:30 a.m. August 2, 2016.

Damage assessment teams have identified 57 residences and 11 outbuildings that have been destroyed in the Soberanes Fire between Big Sur and Monterey, California.

The Incident Commander, Todd Derum, reports that firefighters have achieved 18 percent containment after fighting the blaze for 12 days, which has now blackened over 43,000 acres.

Several areas are still under evacuation orders.

On the west side the fire has come close to reaching the Pacific Ocean, while the east side is 14 to 18 miles west of US Highway 101.

Resources assigned to the fire include: Engines: 510, Water tenders: 51, Helicopters: 17, Air Tankers: 6, Hand Crews: 107, Dozers: 72, Other: 14, Total Personnel: 5,451.


(UPDATED 10:41 a.m. MDT, August 1, 2016)

The Soberanes fire in Big Sur continues to rage with little containment, and on Sunday it prompted more evacuations of local residents.

Businesses in the area have already begun to suffer from the shutdown of various state parks in the famously scenic coastal region, according to a story from Market Watch. 

As of Monday morning, the fire had burned 40,618 acres and was 18 percent contained, according to InciWeb.

The rugged firefighting conditions mixed with hot weather have made the fire harder to contain:

Extremely remote and rugged terrain with limited access coupled with hot and dry weather and an above average cured grass crop has resulted in a high resistance to control.


The Soberanes fire in Monterey County has shifted California’s focus from Los Angeles to Big Sur, where the fire has shut down several state parks, destroyed dozens of homes and continues to burn with little containment.

Here are some of the latest stats on the Soberanes fire (or read more background on the Soberanes fire):

  • 29,877 acres – 15 percent contained
  • 2,000 structures threatened
  • 41 homes and 10 outbuildings destroyed
  • One fatality, a bulldozer-operator who died after a rollover.
  • Total personnel: 4,245
  • Resources:  394 engines, 94 crews, 14 helicopters, 6 air tankers, 67 dozers, 41 water tenders.


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One thought on “Damage assessment teams document 57 homes destroyed in Soberanes Fire”

  1. Is this the 1985 Rat Creek and Gorda fires (Gorda Rat Incident) all over again? Same time of year and acreage about the same. As horrendous as fires have been lately there is still the recurring historical burn patterns that we have always seen on the larger fires. 35 years of firefighting and the Gorda Rat was the only fire I got Poison Oak. It took chainsaws to cut through the thick trunks of the vines.


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