Barbara Sparhawk

Carmel Valley, United States

Professional Expressionist, portrait painter, writer, children’s book illustrator, entrepreneur, and adventuress.


Thanks to everyone here who sent psychic magic, the fires are changing course and THERE ARE NO LIGHTNING THUNDER STORMS EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND!!
I know you did that. God Bless.
There’s a teeny grocery store run by a caterer out in Cachagua. This will give you a feel for what the neighborhood’s like, such great people. There’s more on, and it’s all worth the read.

Meanwhile….the “Indians” is the name of the fire that started first. The Basin Complex fire is now thundering down on Tassajara from the west……as the Indians Fire thunders down on Tassajara from the east.
Tonight as we were working Adam’s rehearsal dinner….a bunch of old school dozer guys came into the Store……looking for some beer.
They had been working the Indians fire for weeks……cutting firebreaks. They and all there equipment are up on Chew’s Ridge waiting to re-open the firebreaks from the ‘99 Kirk fire and the ’77 Marble Cone fire. The firebreaks are in Wilderness Areas. The fire is now five miles from The Store, and seven miles from my house. The dozer crews cannot start work until they hear from the Bush Administration that it is OK to start work in the Wilderness Area.
In fairness…….they never got the OK in 1977 from Jimmy Carter…..or in 1999 from Bill Clinton. Neither of these weasel dicks were willing to violate the sanctity of the Wilderness to save homes and businesses. So….neither is GWB.
No matter. Eventually, the dozer guys follow the community lead and cut the fire break anyway.
So….when the dozer crews came into the Store in the middle of Adam Conway’s rehearsal dinner tonight……. feeling thirsty while waiting for approval to save all of our homes and businesses……what do you think happened?
I’ll never tell.

(This is one more, another entry about the wild condors who have been painstakingly re-introduced to the area….)

Hey folks- The Big Sur fire continues to burn and is still threatening the
two coastal nest sites. The backcountry nest was burned over, but the
redwood nest tree and the grove still remain intact. It is still unknown
whether the chick survived the burn-over, but we have seen GPS data from
female #231 that shows she has returned to the nest tree twice since the
fire burned through. A fog layer moved in along the lower canyon areas
along the coast and has significantly increased humidity and slowed the
burning in the lower half of the canyons, which has been a real saving
grace for the two coastal nest sites. We currently have limited access
along highway one and we have been able to check up on these two nests
daily. If the fire gets closer to the highway, they may keep us out for
safety reasons. Pinnacles has offered up their red-card staff (Scott!) to
assist in the event this fire gets further down the canyons and starts to
pose an emminent threat to the chicks. Luckily, both nests are fairly
accessible from the highway and we should have a good window to get in
there at the current burn rate.
Sadly, we are still missing one adult condor, female #222. All of the
California field sites are on the lookout for her. She is the mother of
our Partington chick and was last seen on the day of the evacuation (June
22nd). We are being very persistent with our daily headcounts and thank
everyone at the other field sites for their help in accounting for all the
birds. This is a very precarious time for the central California flock
and we hope our losses will be minimal. Access is still very restricted
around the fire, it could be weeks before they let us back in to assess
the damage. A big Thanks to all of you for your help and support, we
really appreciate it. I’ll keep you posted…Joe


Total acreage burned in the Basin Complex fire: 26,763
Percent contained: 3%
Expected containment: Not determined
Structures damaged/destroyed: 16 residence, 2 outbuildings.
Engines: 54
Crews: 24
Dozers: 9
Air tankers: 7
Helicopters: 3
Total personnel: 743

Current situation: The Gallery Fire and the Basin Fire have burned together. The fire activity was relatively quiet during the night. However the fire is expected to burn actively today at elevations above 2000 feet. A wind shift to the S/SE has occurred at some elevations of the fire. Structure protection engines remain in place along Partington Ridge, the North Coast Ridge Road and Highway 1. Crews continue to hold the fire east of Highway 1 and south of the community of Big Sur.

Evacuations: Evacuations remain in place in the Partington Ridge area. Should further evacuations be required the Red Cross is prepared to open an evacuation center in Carmel. The SPCA for Monterey County will operate an emergency animal evacuation shelter for household pets (dogs, cats, etc.) adjacent to any American Red Cross evacuation site. Please contact the SPCA first at 831-373-2631 or at 831-646-5534 (after hours) for information on evacuating horses and livestock.


Journal Comments

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