Reflections on the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire

December 20, 2013

molera-2

The 1972 Molera Fire burning in the Big Sur Valley

Three years ago we wrote: “Big Sur’s real nightmare fire scenario is not a massive fire escaping from the Wilderness, but a fire carelessly started along Highway One that makes a quick run up one of the inhabited canyons before a major firefighting effort can be launched.”

The Pfeiffer Ridge Fire wasn’t quite that nightmare scenario, but it was close. Like the explosive Molera Fire, in 1972, it started along the Highway and reached inhabited areas so quickly that those closest to the fire front had only minutes to choose between fleeing for their lives or staying on to fight with whatever resources they happened to have on hand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fire on Pfeiffer Ridge

December 16, 2013

Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon and the Big Sur Valley. Pfeiffer Ridge is at the back of the Sycamore Canyon drainage, running parallel to, and just to the west of, Hwy. 1. Pfeiffer Beach is at the bottom of the photo.

As many of you have been pointing out to us this morning. A fire broke out on Pfeiffer Ridge last night and has been burning through the Sycamore Canyon drainage toward the ocean. We’ve seen reports of as many as 500 acres burned and structures, including homes, have reportedly been destroyed. Read the rest of this entry »


The Flimsy Underpinnings of the Monterey Shale Delerium

December 6, 2013

DSC09972

The Carmel Fire Station, constructed from Monterey Formation shale, better known as “Carmel Stone” on the Monterey Peninsula. Read the rest of this entry »