Soberanes Wildfire in California's Central Coast Region

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A watershed-related issue examined by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

Soberanes Incident.jpeg

Summary

The Soberanes wildfire started on July 22, 2016 and was not contained until October 12, 2016.[1] The cause was determined to be an illegal campfire. The fire burned a total of 132,127 acres, mostly in Los Padres National Forest.[2]

Although previous fires, like the Marble Cone Fire and Basin Complex-Indians Fire, burned a greater acreage, the proximity to populated areas and duration of the Soberanes Fire made it a greater threat to human life and homes.[3] As of 2016, and it was considered to be the most expensive fire fought in U.S. history.[4]

Location

The Soberanes Fire began in Garrapata State Park along the central coast, about 12 miles south of Monterey, California. The fire spread across the Ventana Wilderness of Los Padres National Forest in the the northern part of the Santa Lucia Mountains, and south into Big Sur [5].

Resources at Stake

Fifty seven homes and 11 outbuildings were lost during the fire. Most of the structural damage occurred in Palo Colorado Canyon between Carmel and Big Sur. One bulldozer operator died on assignment and four injuries were reported.[6]

Watersheds affected by the fire include: The Carmel River Watershed, The Big Sur River Watershed, and various lesser coastal watersheds between Carmel and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.[6]

For more information on the impacts of wildfires in California's Central Coast Region, click here.

Recent Primary Literature Studies

  • Integration of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Images for Deteching Burned Vegetation in California (Stroppinan et al. 2017).[7]
  • Wildfire and soil emissions of NOx and their consequences for ozone observed at a remote mountaintop site in Central California (2016). [8]
  • Landscape Patterns of Burn Severity in the Soberanes Fire of 2016 (Potter 2016).[9]
  • Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Assessment: Final Specialist Report of Geologic Hazards (Schwartz & King 2016). [10]

References

  1. Incident Information Website
  2. CalFire Incident Information
  3. Schmalz, D. 2016 Jul 28. How the Soberanes Fire compares to others in recent county history. Monterey County Weekly.
  4. Ceballos, A. 2016 Nov 3. The Soberanes Fire is contained, but its aftermath has just begun. Monterey County Weekly.
  5. Jenner, L. 13 Sep 2016. California's Soberanes Fire Still Burns On. NASA: Fire and Smoke.
  6. 6.0 6.1 (CalFire) Soberanes Fire Watershed Emergency Response Team Report CA-BEU-003422. September 29, 2016
  7. [1]
  8. [2]
  9. [3]
  10. [4]

Links

Disclaimer

This page may contain students' work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.