On Thursday evening, firefighters continued to douse smoldering areas within what’s still burning of the Sherpa Fire, the 7,474-acre wildfire that ignited near Refugio Canyon nine days ago. The fire remains 93 percent contained, as of Friday morning, with uncontained fire lines in steep and treacherous terrain in the northeastern corner.
Over the weekend, the number of fire personnel is expected to drop from 772 to 300 from mostly local agencies. Currently, 24 crews, 25 engines, nine water tenders, and three helicopters (two available for water dropping) are still assigned. Crews continue to construct lines to secure the perimeter and monitor the blaze. Through 10 a.m. Saturday, a “red flag warning” for heightened fire weather remains in effect. Gusty winds are predicted in the area during the evening and overnight. Thursday night, winds were measured at 40-50 miles per hour along Camino Cielo Ridge, according to the National Weather Service.
As of June 23, the estimated cost was $18.1 million, which will be paid for by federal and state funds.
Mandatory evacuations remain for Refugio Canyon north of 1800 Refugio Canyon Road, where sits Circle Bar B Ranch. Tentatively, El Capitan Canyon and Refugio Canyon will reopen on Saturday.