Willow Fire burns 2,000 acres 12 miles southeast of Big Sur, CA

21 miles west of King City

Willow Fire Map California
Willow Fire Map, 10 p.m. PDT June 18, 2021; showing the footprints of the 2016 Soberanes Fire and the 2020 Dolan Fire.

The Willow Fire that started Thursday evening, June 17 has burned approximately 2,000 acres in the Ventana Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Friday night it was less than a mile from the facilities at Tassajara Hot Springs.

The fire is 6 miles east of the Pacific Coast, 21 miles west of King City, and 12 miles southeast of Big Sur.

Fixed-wing air tankers and water-dropping helicopters are assisting crews on the ground. The blaze is burning in steep, rugged, and brushy terrain that is accessible only by hiking in.

Willow Fire California June 18
Willow Fire, early evening, June 18, 2021. USFS photo.

The weather forecast for the area on Saturday is for temperatures in the mid-90s, relative humidity in the low teens, and light terrain driven winds becoming southwest and upslope 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Sunday will be similar, with slightly lower temperatures and slightly higher RH.

Fire History near the Willow Fire, 2000 to 2020 map
Fire History near the Willow Fire, 2000 to 2020.

Very large recent fires could affect the spread to the south, west, and north. To the west and north is the footprint of the 2016 Soberanes Fire, with the 2020 Dolan Fire to the south. Southeast is the 2008 Indians Fire. It is currently in vegetation that burned in the 2008 Basin Fire; the Soberanes fire spread very well in that footprint which at the time was 8 years old.

There is a corridor to the east with no recent fire history, but if it runs six miles in that direction past Tassajara Hot Springs to East Carmel Valley Road it will enter the scar of the 1993 Rancho Fire with 28-year old brush that may burn very well.

Resources assigned to the fire include 7 hand crews, 12 engines, and 5 helicopters for a total of 337 personnel.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Willow Fire burns 2,000 acres 12 miles southeast of Big Sur, CA”

  1. Flash (or its successor) might be an useful tool for Wildfire Today.

    Allows you to overlay fire maps, like Photoshop, but with a Timeline, if you want to make an animated GIF.


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