The La Brea Fire, which started on August 8, continues to burn in the northwest portion of the San Rafael Wilderness, in very steep and inaccessible terrain. California Interagency Incident Management Team 3, under Incident Commander Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, took command of the fire at 6 a.m. this morning. Dense, 87-year-old chapparal, long distance spotting and moderate to rapid rates of spread challenge firefighting efforts. Extreme fire behavior has been observed since the fire began. The fire has not entered the Sisquoc River area and is still within the Wilderness boundary.

La Brea Fire closure area, August 10, 2009

Fire suppression vehicle traffic has significantly increased on Highway 166, and the public is urged to seek an alternate route or use extra caution when traveling the highway.

Current Situation: Firefighters worked hard today to help check the spread of the fire, and more firefighters are on the way. 14,778 acres have burned. This afternoon, fire activity near Timber Peak was highly visible from Highway 166.

Self sufficient crews will build fireline until the end of their shift this evening, and then they will camp at a safe location near the fireline, to be ready to continue line construction first thing in the morning.

Crews and engines will work on a slop over on Sierra Madre Ridge tonight. Existing dozer lines from the Zaca Fire along the Triplet Fuelbreak, and Peach Tree and Sierra Madre Ridges are being utilized as firelines. Previously burned areas of the Bald Fire may assist in controlling growth of the La Brea Fire.

Weather: Typical August weather conditions will prevail, with hot and dry conditions continuing through the week. It will be mostly sunny with highs of 80 to 90 degrees on the ridgetops, and highs of 90 to 100s at lower elevations. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows in the high 50s to low 60s. Tomorrow slope and valley winds will be 36 mph, with afternoon winds 612 mph and gusts to 18 mph.

Closures: An emergency closure order, ORDER NO. 09-13-5100-10, is in effect for portions of the Los Padres National Forest in and around the fire. Please contact Fire Information at (805) 961-5770 or Inciweb for more complete information.

Current Situation

Total Personnel: 1,054

Size: 14,778 acres

Fuels Involved:Chaparral

Fire Behavior: Fire has sloped over the line in the Timber Peak area along Sierra Madre Ridge.


Planned Actions: Crews will be working on the slope over and patrolling through the night. Firefighters will hold and mop up around the Timber Peak Area. Additional crews will construct line along Horse Canyon and improve line on the Southeast side of the fire. Self sufficient crews will build fire line until the end of their operational period and remain at or near the point while off duty and begin building fireline during their next shift where they left off. This is referred to as “Coyote Tactics”.

Growth Potential: Extreme

Terrain Difficulty: Extreme

Remarks: California Interagency Incident Management Team 3 assumed command of the fire this morning at 6:00 am.


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