Pine, Los Padres National Forest

In Contained California Firesby YubaNet

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  • Incident Name: Pine, Los Padres National Forest
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: LPF
  • Size (acres): 2,304
  • Percent Contained: 96%
  • Estimate of Containment: July 17, 2016
  • Personnel: 86
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

Pine, Los Padres NF. Thirty miles northeast of Santa Barbara, CA. Timber, chaparral and brush. Minimal fire behavior. Road, area and trail closures in effect.

July 12, 2016 at 8:34 AM

The Pine Fire has burned 2,304 acres and has reached 93% containment. Minimal fire activity inside the perimeter may continue in the short term. Two Wildland Fire Modules and several interagency hotshot crews are monitoring the lines and will continue the suppression repair efforts. Yesterday was the last day of the pack string for supplying crews and hauling out materials. Mop up (extinguishing hot patches near the fireline) will continue throughout the week. The fire is shifting to a smaller organization as excess personnel continue to demobilize.

On the Pine Fire, six members of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians from the Santa Ynez Chumash Fire Department have been working on the fireline with federal archeologists and firefighters to identify and protect sensitive historical resources from inadvertent damage. Cultural Resource Specialists (CULS) use existing data to locate areas which are to be avoided, and also search for other sites which may have not have been known previously. The CULS mark the areas that are to be protected so firefighters know not to disturb these sites.

The Los Padres National Forest is part of the ancestral lands for the Chumash Tribe. In fact, the Sespe Wilderness, where the Pine Fire is located, is named for the Chumash word for “knee cap”. Their work on the Pine Fire has been invaluable in protecting resources that are part of an important history on the Los Padres National Forest.

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team (SCSIIMT) will transfer command of the fire on Wednesday, July 13, at 6:00 am.

July 12, 2016 at 7:35 AM

Planned actions for today: Hold and maintain constructed line and mop up where safe. Monitor any open fireline where crews could not complete fireline for safety reasons. Continue trash backhaul and suppression repair. Fireline safety is the priority. Crew and equipment demobilization continues. Possible interior activity due to expected north winds and low humidity. Crews will continue to mop up and reinforce fireline where necessary.

Yesterday was the last day for pack stock utilization in backhaul of equipment. Ozena spike camp has been completely closed. Air support needs continue to be minimal today as the fire continues to exhibit low fire behavior. A Type 3 organization will assume command on July 13 at 0600.

July 11, 2016 at 7:22 PM

The Pine Fire has burned 2,304 acres and has reached 77% containment. Hotshot crews and aircraft continue to improve containment on the fireline. Indirect line construction from Pine Mtn. Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail was completed yesterday, which is the final section of the contingency line. Two Wildland Fire Modules have been flown into the fire’s edge to monitor the lines and continue the suppression repair efforts.

Although there was minimal fire activity yesterday, there are still pockets of unburned fuels which could ignite as the temperatures increase and the humidity decreases. Mop up (extinguishing hot patches near the fireline) has begun and will continue throughout the week. The pack string will assist in hauling out equipment and trash. Excess personnel will be demobilizing today.

Typically at fire incidents in California, members of the California Conservation Corps (CCC) are part of the base camp crew. At the Pine Fire base camp, there were actually three CCC crews, from Los Angeles, Pomona and the Inland Empire, working hard to ensure the day-to-day tasks were completed for the overall effectiveness of the camp operation. Tasks performed include managing supplies, trash removal, hydration restocking, daily lunch distribution, night lighting, and other special projects. The tennis courts of the high school were cleaned, brush was removed, and the Future Farmers of America plots got a makeover and weed removal. Base camp would not run as smoothly or as cleanly if not for the CCCs, and their participation was very much appreciated.

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team will transfer command of the fire on Wednesday July 13 at 0600.

July 10, 2016 at 9:54 AM 

The Pine Fire has burned 2,304 acres and has reached 71% containment. Hotshot crews and aircraft continue to improve containment on the fireline. Indirect line construction from Pine Mtn. Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail is expected to be completed, which is the final section of the contingency line. Two Wildland Fire Modules have been flown into the fire’s edge to monitor the lines and continue the suppression repair efforts. A module consists of 7-10 personnel; each module is self-sustaining and contains a variety of skills that are specific to backcounty firefighting. They conduct basic suppression using minimal impact techniques and fire behavior analysis, as well as other duties as needed.

Although there was minimal fire activity yesterday, there are still pockets of unburned fuels which could ignite as the temperatures increase and the humidity decreases. Winds are expected to increase significantly tonight through Monday and may test the firelines. Critical fire weather conditions resulting in a red flag warning is in effect from 3pm today until 6am tomorrow morning. A red flag warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior which will occur within 24 hours. During this time caution is urged for all residents.

July 9, 2016 at 9:38 PM

The Pine Fire has burned 2,304 acres and has reached 71% containment. Aircraft continue to be critical to suppression operations, as was seen yesterday when they were diverted from this fire to assist in extinguishing the Fort Fire, which began in grass fire along Interstate 5, and just as quickly returned to the Pine Fire.

Hotshot crews and aircraft continued working to contain the northern portions of the fire and construct direct fireline in areas where the terrain allowed.

Although there was minimal fire activity yesterday, there are still pockets of unburned fuels which could torch as the temperatures increase and the humidity decreases. Winds are expected to increase significantly tonight through Monday and may test the firelines.

As the Pine Fire’s active fire suppression needs decrease, fire managers will begin fire suppression repair efforts. Fire suppression repair is a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair suppression activities and minimize the potential for soil erosion and impacts resulting from these activities. This work will focus on areas that were affected, such as hand lines, dozer lines, and helispots that were constructed and used to support the crews and roads. There were 6 miles of dozer line constructed, none of which were within the Sespe Wilderness. Work will consist of constructing water bars on the hand and dozer lines that will divert water off the lines to reduce soil erosion, pulling back cut brush, berm’s, rocks and spreading it over the bare ground on dozer lines and helispots. Also crews will be removing litter, flagging and other equipment.

Evacuations A voluntary evacuation of the Camp Scheideck community remains in effect. Due to potential fire hazards, Reyes Creek Campground and the Grade Valley area including Thorne Meadow and Fish Bowls are closed to the public.

July 9, 2016 at 8:41 AM 

Yesterday, the south line along Pine Mtn. Ridge and the west line held successfully with minimal fire activity observed. Hotshot crews and aircraft worked to contain the northern portions of the fire and construct direct fireline in that area where the terrain would allow. Crews completed indirect line construction along the Boulder Canyon Trail from the Ozena Fire Station to Pine Mtn. Campground. Additional helispots are being utilized to facilitate crew movement to different parts of the fire that remain the most active.

Today, crews and aircraft will continue to work the north and west flanks of the fire in an effort to keep the fire from spreading, giving crews time to complete direct line construction. Indirect line construction from Pine Mtn. Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail is nearly complete, which is the final section of the contingency line. These lines provide a larger containment boundary and allow for the greatest probability of success in case of unanticipated fire behavior.

Aircraft have been critical to suppression operations due to the steep terrain and difficult access to the fireline. Fixed wing and helicopters are being used extensively and have been successful in keeping the fire from spreading. The retardant used on the Pine Fire is approximately 85% water, 10% fertilizer and 5% other ingredients such as iron indicating the red color. The water cools and wets the vegetation, preventing ignition, and the red color allows visibility to both air and ground firefighters. The color will fade to light brown in about 10 days, blending into the surroundings. For more information, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/retardant/index.html.

July 8, 2016 at 10:39 AM

Good progress has been made holding the direct lines on the south and west, with minimal fire growth to the north. Crews completed indirect line construction along the Boulder Canyon Trail from the Ozena Fire Station to Pine Mtn. Campground. Four hotshot crews were inserted to support existing crews in an effort to establish a direct attack. Crews and aircraft will continue to work the south and west flanks of the fire in an effort to keep the fire from spreading, especially to the south of Pine Mtn. Ridge. Additional helispots are being utilized to facilitate crew movement to different parts of the fire.

Firefighters continue to implement wilderness suppression tactics where safe to do so, tying in the fireline to existing trails or natural barriers. Logistical support of a spike camp on Pine Mtn. Ridge will be provided by a pack string and is anticipated to begin soon. Crews will continue to build indirect line along Pine Mtn. Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail.

Contingency lines are nearly complete and will serve as a larger containment boundary for the fire. Contingency lines (“bigger box”) allow for the greatest probability of success in case of unanticipated fire behavior.

Rolling material continues to contribute to fires’ spread. Potential for growth is attributed to continuous heavy fuels and topographic alignment throughout the fire. Fire continues to burn under dry conditions, consuming ground fuels and litter. Backing fires tend to burn under the tree crowns with some isolated torching during uphill runs. The fire continues to make small runs on the north end of the fire. This can be attributed to increased northerly winds.

July 7, 2016 at 12:33 PM

Good progress has been made holding the direct lines on the south and west, with minimal fire growth to the north. Crews completed indirect line construction along the Boulder Canyon Trail from the Ozena Fire Station to Pine Mtn. Campground. Four hotshot crews were inserted to support existing crews in an effort to establish a direct attack. Crews and aircraft will continue to work the south and west flanks of the fire in an effort to keep the fire from spreading, especially to the south of Pine Mtn. Ridge. Additional helispots are being utilized to facilitate crew movement to different parts of the fire.

Firefighters continue to implement wilderness suppression tactics where safe to do so, tying in the fireline to existing trails or natural barriers. Logistical support of a spike camp on Pine Mtn. Ridge will be provided by a pack string and is anticipated to begin soon. Crews will continue to build indirect line along Pine Mtn. Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail.

Contingency lines are nearly complete and will serve as a larger containment boundary for the fire. Contingency lines (“bigger box”) allow for the greatest probability of success in case of unanticipated fire behavior.

July 6, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Firefighters continue to be successful in constructing and holding the line on the south side of the fire at Pine Mountain as well as the eastern side west, of Fishbowls. Additional crews will be flown in today to support existing crews in a direct attack on the fire, as well as to begin line construction from Beartrap Creek to the north.

Contingency lines including trails and natural barriers continue to be improved in order to box in the fire for the overall containment objective. These contingency lines include Lockwood Valley on the north, Pine Mountain Ridge on the south, Grade Valley Road on the east (including Cedar Valley Trail) and a dozer line on the west from the Ozena Fire Station to south Pine Mountain Road. Contingency lines (“bigger box”) allow for the greatest probability of success based on current and anticipated fire behavior. Helicopter air support continues to help the fire crews on the ground who are aggressively fighting fire and building fire line.

July 6, 2016 at 9:42 AM 

Firefighters continue to be successful in constructing and holding the line on the south side of the fire at Pine Mountain as well as the eastern side west, of Fishbowls. Additional crews will be flown in today to support existing crews in a direct attack on the fire, as well as to begin line construction from Beartrap Creek to the north.

Contingency lines including trails and natural barriers continue to be improved in order to box in the fire for the overall containment objective. These contingency lines include Lockwood Valley on the north, Pine Mountain Ridge on the south, Grade Valley Road on the east (including Cedar Valley Trail) and a dozer line on the west from the Ozena Fire Station to south Pine Mountain Road. Contingency lines (“bigger box”) allow for the greatest probability of success based on current and anticipated fire behavior. Helicopter air support continues to help the fire crews on the ground who are aggressively fighting fire and building fire line.

A US Forest Service pack string with packers from the Los Padres, Inyo and Sierra National Forests has been brought in to support firefighting operations. Each mule in the ten mule string will be carrying about 150 pounds of gear, which will be used for restocking the firefighters on the line. The packers are scouting out a location to be used for a base of operations. The firefighters continue to spike out on the line due to the remote location of the fire.

If you are a property owner, then www.readyforwildfire.org  is the website to visit for any questions that you might have as we enter what is shaping up to be an extremely busy fire season. Tree mortality is a very real issue, and an increase in the number of dead trees does mean an increased wildfire threat. www.readyforwildfire.org contains great information on defensible space and fire safe landscaping.

July 5, 2016 at 8:45 PM

Today, firefighters were successful in constructing and holding the line on the east flank of the fire west of the Fishbowls. All though direct line construction efforts are proving fruitful, contingency lines including trails and natural barriers are being improved in order to box in the fire for the overall containment objective. These contingency lines are currently near completion along the Boulder Canyon Trail, and will continue along Pine Mountain Ridge to the Cedar Creek Trail. Fire crews continue to aggressively fight fire while also remaining cognizant of the wilderness values.

A US Forest Service pack string with packers from the Los Padres, Inyo and Sierra National Forests has been brought in to support firefighting operations. Each mule in the ten mule string will be carrying about 150 pounds of gear, which will be used for restocking the firefighters on the line. The firefighters continue to spike out on the line due to the remote location of the fire. 280 personnel are being relocated from the base camp at Frazier Park High School to a spike camp closer to the fire line to increase efficiency through a decrease in travel times.

July 5, 2016 at 8:59 AM 

Crews were successful in constructing and holding the line on the east flank of the fire west of the Fishbowls. When terrain does not allow for a direct approach, indirect attack methods are used. This could include constructing contingency lines, reducing fuels, and burning out between a fuel break and the fire. At times, the risks to the safety of the firefighters is too great to allow for direct line construction, so a safer alternative, such as indirect line building, is implemented. Ensuring firefighter and public safety is a primary goal of the Pine Fire, therefore, crews will be constructing both direct and indirect lines in the Sespe Wilderness.

The use of aircraft for firefighting was heavy again today. Indirect line construction continued along the southern flank to Pine Mtn. Campground. Crews will construct both direct and indirect lines from Pine Mtn. Ridge to Grade Valley Rd. Direct line construction will continue from the Cedar Creek Trail to Pine Mtn. Ridge.

In addition to aircraft, wilderness crews are being supported by a US Forest Service pack string. Each mule will be carrying about 150 pounds of gear, which will be used for restocking the firefighters on the line as part of their operations in the wilderness. The pack string will be working out of Piedra Blanca Trailhead in Rose Valley beginning early Tuesday morning.

Flying a drone near a wildfire is prohibited due to Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) in airspace implemented by the FAA. Remember, If You Fly, We Can’t.

Evacuations There are no mandatory evacuations. There are voluntary evacuations of the Camp Scheideck community. Due to potential fire hazards, Reyes Creek Campground, and the Grade Valley area including Thorne Meadow and Fish Bowls are closed to the public.

Closures Pine Mountain Recreational Area at Highway 33. Reyes Creek Campground near Sheideck. Reyes Creek Trailhead. Piedra Blanca Trailhead. Chorro Grande Trailhead. Grade Valley Road junction at Lockwood Valley Road.

July 4, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Today, 10 helicopters will assist crews in dropping retardant, water on all flanks of the fire. Crews are staying overnight in the Sespe Wilderness and are being supplied by aircraft. Heavy and medium helicopters will continue to be deployed on the south and west flanks of the fire in an effort to keep the fire from spreading to the southeast. Crews will continue to improve line on Pine Mountain Ridge. Contingency line construction continues along the Boulder Canyon Trail from Ozena fire station to Pine Mountain campground.

A forecasted change of ridgetop winds today may pose a challenge to firefighters along firelines. Winds from the northwest may bring smoke to areas not previously affected. There are 455 assigned personnel, and additional resources have arrived to increase capacity.

July 3, 2016 at 9:46 PM

Today, 11 helicopters assisted crews on the ground in dropping retardant, water and gear on the western and southern flanks of the fire. An Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), also known as a drone, was flying in the vicinity of the fire operations heliport. The pilot was located and the drone was grounded. During a wildfire, temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) are implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration. TFRs limit air travel in designated areas due to a temporary hazardous condition. Flying a drone near a wildfire is against the law. Remember, If You Fly, We Can’t.

Crews are staying overnight in the wilderness and are being supplied by aircraft. They made progress on improving the fireline on the southeast flank to Pine Mountain Ridge. There are 5 hotshot crews, and 8 20-person hand crews, 7 engines, and 7 water tenders. There are 455 assigned personnel, and additional resources have arrived to increase capacity for indirect suppression.

July 3, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Infared aerial mapping was conducted last night and the acreage remains at 1,590 acres, with zero percent containment. Today, crews will assess the area for contingency lines and continue to improve hand lines on the southern flank on Pine Mountain Ridge. Due to steep terrain and the remote location in wilderness, aerial resources are being used to support firefighters on the ground. To minimize impacts to the wilderness, firefighters are utilizing existing trails and firebreaks and natural barriers to contain the fire. There are 377 assigned personnel, and additional resources have been ordered to increase capacity for indirect suppression.

July 2, 2016 at 10:04 PM 

Today, the fire was active in the north and northwest sections. Crews continue to build line along the Pine Mountain ridge on the south flank with the goal of holding the fires’ southern spread. Crews are staying overnight close to the fireline to minimize travel time and are being supplied with equipment and supplies by helicopter. Firefighters are aggressively fighting the fire while remaining mindful of wilderness values, utilizing existing trails and firebreaks and natural barriers.

Level 3 fire restrictions remain in effect. This means no open campfires except in designated sites, as well as no target shooting. Propane stoves are permissible with a permit. More information can be found by going to www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/.

July 2, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Rolling material continues to dominate fire spread in steep inaccessible terrain, allowing for multiple uphill runs. High potential for growth is attributed to continuous heavy flashy fuels, southerly winds and topographic alignment. Fire continues to actively burn under dry conditions.

Crews access to the fire continues to be by aircraft only. Safety of ground resources on the fire line is priority. Crews will continue hand line suppression efforts where feasible. Type 1 hand crews will be relocated from direct attack to begin ground reconnaissance for indirect line locations in anticipation of a change in tactics.

The fire is expected to continue burning to the north and northeast and rollout to the southwest. Hand crews continue to line-spike. Crews have anchored in Piedra Blanca and built direct line on the southwest flank to Pine Mtn Ridge and along the ridge in hopes of holding the fire’s southern spread at the ridge line.

An upper level trough of low pressure and dry southwest winds aloft will prevail over the area through next Thursday. A relatively deep marine layer is expected to persist near shore as a moderate onshore pressure gradient develops each afternoon. Temperatures will differ each day by, plus or minus, 1 or 2 degrees and likely continue 2 degrees below normal inland and 5 to 10 degrees below normal at the coast and valleys. Good relative humidity recovery is likely in the lower elevations and poor to moderate in the higher elevations through the period. Max temperature 82 degrees; minimum relative humidity 5% with the a south wind at 8 mph with gusts 18 mph.

July 2, 2016 at 4:43 PM 

There remains high potential for growth due to heavy fuels and steep inaccessible terrain. The terrain is making access difficult, and crews and supplies are being helicoptered in. Crews were able to begin line construction yesterday, and that work will be continuing today. Air support will continue with retardant drops.

Fire suppression efforts in designated wilderness involve being “light on the land” using minimal impact suppression techniques (MIST). Natural barriers, wet line and cold trail techniques, minimal power tool use, and no bulldozers are some of the techniques being used.

The Los Padres National Forest wants to remind forest visitors of the One Less Spark Campaign. Please be aware that fire restrictions are in place:

  • No campfires except in designated sites.
  • Propane stoves are allowed with a permit available at www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/

July 2, 2016 at 9:48 AM

The Pine Fire was first reported at 8:54 am on June 30, 2016. The fire is located 11 miles north of Ojai in the Sespe Wilderness.

The Central Sierra Incident Management Type 2 Team has assumed command of the incident as of 6:00 pm on July 1, 2016.

Based on fire activity the following closures are in place:

· Pine Mt Recreational Area is closed at the gate on Highway 33.
· Reyes Creek Campground near Sheideck.
· Reyes Creek Trail head
· Piedra Blanca Trail head
· Chorro Grande Trail

In addition to these closures, Grade Valley Road is closed at the junction of Lockwood Valley Road.

Voluntary evacuations have currently been implemented by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department for the area south of Lockwood Valley Road in the vicinity of Camp Sheideck.

The fire is actively burning to the southwest and the northeast with high potential for growth due to heavy fuels and steep inaccessible terrain.

Accessibility to the fire continues to be an issue being by aircraft only. Ground resources on the fire line is priority one. Crews will continue hand line suppression efforts. Crews will be spiked overnight.

Onshore flow will continue through the middle of next week as a weak trough settles over the region. Interior sections will remain dry with higher mountain humidities under 10% and very poor overnight recoveries under 30%. Gusty southwest winds are also expected each afternoon and evening over the interior sections, resulting in elevated fire danger. Slight warming and drying is likely early next week, including the 4th of July as weak high pressure briefly builds and onshore flow weakens. However, it will not be nearly as hot as the last couple of days.