Everyone said this would be a brutal fire season, and that prophecy is coming to pass. The massive Soberanes fire is approaching the two-week mark in Big Sur and the Carmel Valley, and it has now scorched 45,800, and meanwhile a new fire broke out Tuesday near Winters and Lake Berryessa, in Yolo County.
According to Cal Fire's update Wednesday morning, the Soberanes Fire is 25 percent contained, and 2,000 structures remain threatened, but no more homes have been destroyed since Sunday, when the count stood at 57.
Today we learn that investigators have traced the source of the fire to a single abandoned, illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park, as ABC 7 reports. The name of the fire comes from Soberanes Creek, near where the blaze began. As CBS 5 tells us, the campfire was first reported by two hikers the morning of July 22 shortly before the wildfire broke out. Authorities are continuing to investigate in order to identify possible suspects.
The latest perimeter map was just published, showing the fire as it approaches both the northern part of Big Sur and Los Padres National Forest. It is spreading primarily to the south and east, so far.
Meanwhile to our north, on the eastern side of Lake Berryessa near Winters, a grass fire broke out Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 that has now become a 4,000-acre wildfire, called the Cold Fire. 700 firefighting personnel are on the scene and it is now five percent contained. Mandatory evacuations have taken place for Canyon Creek RV Resort and Golden Bear Estates.
As the Chronicle notes, the Golden Bear Estates neighborhood has been evacuated in the last two fire seasons, once in 2015 during the Wragg Fire, and in 2014 during the Monticello Fire.