The Sherpa Fire continues to smoke from small heat sources emanating from trees burned down to stumps and deep piles of leaves, brush, and roots with fire deep within them. Rugged and steep areas of the canyons near Refugio have prevented bulldozers and hand crews from completely encircling the 7,474-acre fire, and Los Padres National Forest officials have set the fire containment at 96 percent. The four percent of uncontained line had been painted with retardant by aircraft.
Crews are clearing piles of brush that formed after bulldozers moved through, said Los Padres spokesperson Andrew Madsen, and also chipping left behind by crews as they cut the line to contain the fire, which started on June 15. Sundowners blew the fire into doubling in size through June 20, when winds off the ocean reduced the temperature and increased humidity, giving firefighters a chance to get a handle on the fire. The cause is still under investigation.