Reinforcements sent to Soberanes Fire; some evacuations lifted

- As the Soberanes Fire grows, standing at 32,930 acres as of Friday evening, so do the reinforcements and the number of crews on-hand to attack it.

This strike team from San Joaquin County had been fighting the Sand Fire in Southern California. As that fire came under control, the team got a call to head to Monterey County’s Soberanes Fire where it was only 15 percent contained. 

"We started there Monday morning after driving Sunday night, worked Monday and Tuesday there and then Wednesday morning we got released from that fire and dispatched down to this fire," says Battalion Chief Brad Palmer of the Stockton Fire Department.

Admittedly, they're tired. Crews are napping in trailers or on cots before heading out this evening for an overnight shift.

"You try to pick up the rest when you can when you're in camp. You never really catch up all the way. But you do the best you can," says Palmer.

And there are personal sacrifices too.

"My engineer reminded me that it's my anniversary. Thank god he was there. Oops," says Captain Michael Bailey of the Monrovia Fire Department. His crew arrived in at five this morning.

Some of those arriving are structure defense specialists. 41 homes and 10 outbuildings have been lost so far, these crews will try to protect the 2,000 still threatened.

"We've been able to bring in more resources so that we can defend those communities as much as we possibly could," says Elizabeth Marks with Cal Fire.

And while they've been working with bulldozers and retardant to make a perimeter around this fire, it continues to grow.

What they thought would take a week to contain, will now take more than a month.

Meanwhile, residents have been showing their gratitude for the firefighters’ hard work, dropping off more donations than they can use. They're asking that people show their thanks in other ways instead.

"We're thanking the community for their support and their love but we're asking that they give it in waves and in posters and in thank you notes," says Marks.

Or she says a donation to charity would be welcome.

There is some good news: evacuation orders have been lifted from some areas including Riley Ranch Road, Red Wolf Drive, Corona Road, and All of Carmel Highlands.

And, the Red Cross closed the emergency shelter for residents this Friday morning, saying it was no longer needed.
 

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