Thank you to everyone who fought long and hard to put this fire out.

Thanks to all the firefighters and volunteers who did such a great job fighting this fire and providing support services. I hope that in some small way this blog was useful in getting information to folks who needed it. Regards, Stephanie.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Whats happening with garbage collection?

Back home now on Pine Flat Road, wondering what's happening with garbage collection. Does anybody know? Do we just wait until next week or is there an alternate day to put the trash cans out?

Friday, June 13, 2008

News From the Martin Fire

They are letting people back into their
homes this afternoon. Martin Road is still
closed. Helicopters are still flying over-
head and there are a lot of trucks on the
road. Pine Flat Road is open although I
heard that there is a lot of traffic
coming up Bonny Doon Road. Alba to
Empire Grade and then down Pine Flat
was a breeze a little while ago.

Correction - fire perimeter information is NOT real time

Here is a correction to the information posted earlier that the fire perimeter data at is real-time. It's not. I emailed the folks there and got a response back this morning (shown below) that the GIS specialist uploads the data at an unspecified interval, so the perimeter data is not real-time.

Does anyone know how to get real-time fire perimeter data - perhaps a geo-thermal heat map on-line? Are any agencies maintaining a real time perimeter that affected people can check to see where the fire is? (Thanks for the quick response Sandy.)

------------ Begin Message from the USGS ----------------

No, the perimeters on GeoMAC are not real time. We get them when the GIS specialist at the incident makes them available on an ftp site.

Sandy Walters

Fire Update is an excellent resource for seeing the extent
of the Martin Fire.

Fog and 25% Containment

Good Morning Everyone,

Woke up this morning in Felton to a nice blanket of low clouds. Sounds like the fire is still 25% contained with the expectation that it be fully contained by tomorrow. Last report was 10 structures burned with at least 4 of them being houses. No injuries have been reported. For those of you out of the area, all of us in the Felton / Ben Lomond area are just fine. The fire is at least 2 miles away. Our thoughts are with the Bonny Dooners who are right in the middle of things.

I will probably be taking down the 'auto-post' email address this afternoon so as not to attract spam. Comments are always welcome and if you have any public service announcements / offers to help etc., I will be happy to post them.




I hope this blog has been useful to folks looking to share information and get information on the fire. It has not been the ideal mechanism for transmitting information, but the best I could come up with on short notice. Has anyone seen any better applications on the net for getting and giving disaster info? If not, lets try to write one!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SF Chronicle News (06-12) 15:52 PDT

(06-12) 15:52 PDT BONNY DOON, SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- Firefighters cleared space around houses and nervously hoped the weather would hold out as they struggled today to contain a 700-acre wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains that has chased 1,500 people from their homes.

The Martin Fire has destroyed several structures since it broke out Wednesday afternoon near the community of Bonny Doon, about 12 miles north of Santa Cruz, and is threatening 1,000 to 1,200 homes. Fire officials said they did not know exactly how many houses had already burned.

"We have a lot of homes in the area that have been impacted either directly or indirectly," said Steve Woodill, a division chief with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. "We know that there have been structural losses. We can't tell you how many."

Santa Cruz County officials said late Wednesday that at least five buildings had burned. No containment lines have been established around the blaze.

The Martin Fire is the second major blaze in the county in less than a month, but so far officials are optimistic it will not be as disastrous as the Summit Fire, which destroyed 35 residences and 64 outbuildings and burned 4,270 acres from May 22 to May 30.

That fire, which started about 20 miles east of the Martin Fire, was driven for the first two days by winds that gusted to 40 mph. So far today, the weather has been far more cooperative. By mid-afternoon, winds were blowing 10 mph or less, and temperatures were in the upper 70s.

The Martin Fire was so named because it started along Martin Road shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday. The fire remains centered in the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, a state-run preserve where locals suspect the blaze began. Authorities do not know what caused it.

Firefighters were concerned this afternoon that shifting winds could push the fire eastward and send it roaring up a steep hillside toward the Pine Ridge neighborhood, a cluster of dozens of spacious homes along Pine Ridge Road.

Crews have bulldozed a firebreak through stands of pine trees and underbrush along the top of that ridge, creating a broad ribbon of dirt between the fire's potential path and the homes.

In the Pine Ridge neighborhood, crews hosed down firewood piles and cleared away vegetation from homes closest to the fire break, creating defensible space.

"What they're really worried about is a change in the wind," Santa Cruz fire Capt. Jason Nee said as smoke wafted into the neighborhood and ash began to drift down. "That would bring it up to the neighborhood."

The fire burned overnight through dense vegetation in an area where Woodill said the fuel conditions are more like those normally seen in the fall after months of dry, hot weather.

"Three-foot-diameter round logs burnt completely to ash overnight," said Rich Rubin of the state forestry department.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency in the county today.

Evacuations were mandatory for residents living on Towhee Road, Quail Drive, Smith Grade, Thayer Road, Warren Road, Lupin Road, Martin Road, Pine Flat, Pine Ridge and Moore Ranch. Numerous roads in the area are closed, including Bonny Doon at Smith Road, Empire Grade at Smith Road, Pine Flat at Martin Road, Ice Cream Grade at Martin Road and Pine Flat at Quail Road.

Officials set up shelter for evacuated livestock at the Graham Hill Showgrounds, and pets that need a place to stay were being brought to the Scotts Valley animal shelter on Janus Way.

A total of 719 firefighters are on the lines, and 11 air tankers and seven helicopters are dropping water and fire retardant on the flames.

Fire officials resources were being divided among a number of wildfires across California.

"Resource orders are being coordinated on a statewide basis," Woodill said. "We're not running out."

A strike team from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, working on three hours' sleep, spent Wednesday night using hoses to protect homes along Warren Drive on the fire's southern edge. Flames came within 30 feet of one house and just a few feet from its firewood pile.

"We were here all night long," Capt. David Sadecki said. "We didn't have dinner yet from yesterday. We missed breakfast and now we're going on lunch. But we're OK."

None of the homes in that area had burned, said Jerry Kuras, the battalion chief for the Santa Barbara team.

Although state fire officials said they were in good shape, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., raised questions today about whether the U.S. Forest Service was adequately staffed.

In a letter to Forest Service officials, Feinstein said that the agency's vacancy rate among firefighters was 8.5 percent, which she called unacceptable.

" I am also concerned about reports that as of Friday ... only 186 of the agency's 276 engines were available to respond to fires," Feinstein said. "With the hot, dry and windy conditions ... in California, I believe the agency should have been able to muster a stronger force."

Feinstein noted that several major fires have broken out in the state within the three days. Besides the Martin Fire, two other major blazes are burning out of control in Northern and Central California. In Butte County, the 2-day-old Humboldt Fire has burned 6,000 acres 10 miles east or Chico, with 10 percent containment, fire officials said.

No structures have been damaged, and one firefighter suffered moderate injuries. Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in the county, where another fire earlier this week destroyed 21 homes in the town of Palermo.

In Monterey County, the 5-day-old Indians Fire burning in the Ventana Wilderness west of Kings City has scorched nearly 17,000 acres and is only 16 percent contained. A home and some outbuildings were destroyed. Five firefighters have suffered injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to hand and ear burns.

Chronicle staff writers Steve Rubenstein and Elizabeth Fernandez contributed to this report. E-mail John Coté at

red cross notice help

To get the all text from the Red Cross notice, just copy the text
(select it with your mouse, then Edit>Copy or Ctrl+C) and paste it
(Edit>Paste) into a blank document. That will give you the entire notice.

-Forrest in San Jose

Red Cross notice

Love the info!  Do have a question regarding this notice that the shelter has moved – the entire right side of the posting, as I am able to pull it up, is cut off– as I live across the street from the middle school I need to know this info (in case I need to start packing NOW).  Is there a way to correct this?





Martin Fire victims: warning - ozone gas dangers during recovery work

Hi Stephanie,

We are attempting to get warning to fire victims and those who sustain smoke damage from the fires: DO NOT ALLOW OZONE USE IN YOUR HOMES AFTER THE FIRE. 

In a recent letter to the editor in the Register-Pajaronian, as both a general contractor and one whose own home and possessions were damaged, my husband issues a warning to Summit Fire homeowners and renters, to not allow ozone gas use in the smoke recovery and restoration work after a fire.  We also want the Martin fire people to also be warned!

Our home in Corralitos had a fire and smoke damage several years ago. An ozone generator was brought in to "help" fix the smoke smell, and subsequently we were forced from our home due to the damage caused by the ozone gas.  We've since learned of others, both locally and thorughout the nation, who have been harmed by ozone gas generators.

Ozone is 500x more toxic than carbon monoxide, and can mix with harmless household items and make them highly toxic; it is dangereous to home and health and possessions.  Ozone is relatively inexpensive to use, with Insurance companies and restoration companies often using ozone generators often within hours of a fire ceasing. We want to get the word out quickly, spare others what we've been through by sharing what we've lived through and learned the hard way. (see attachments for full information and story).

Perhaps you might post this short version (below), Stephanie, with a link to another of your pages that might hold the longer attached warnings and informtion? I wish we had a website up and running that holds all the info. on ozone dangers in one place, but do not know how or where to do this.

Thanks you much for posting this, and for getting a webpage up and running so quickly.

with warm regards,

Kathy for all

John & Kathy Thill and family

Soquel, CA




  SUMMIT AND MARTIN FIRE VICTIMS - WARNING: Don't make the mistake of allowing your Insurance Carriers to use OZONE in your home, on your contents or personal belongings.

We own a home in Santa Cruz and have posted warnings on the 3 message boards in the Corralitos area, along with sending this info to newspapers/news agencies and websites, trying to alert homeowners and renters:

It is standard Insurance industry policy to bring in machinery that generates ozone gas in an attempt to eliminate smoke odors after a fire. DO NOT ALLOW OZONE. Ozone gas is dangerous, toxic, 500x more toxic than carbon monoxide, and it can adversely effect your family's health, home and possessions, as it did to ours.

For additional information on ozone see:

with regards,

John Thill and family
WORK: 831-475-6639
HOME/personal email:

For full letter: Register-Pajaronian article,

KCBS - New Evacuations in Martin Fire

Cal-Fire has posted informational boards at three locations in the area for fire evacuees to find out specific information about areas that have burned and the status of their neighborhoods.

The locations are:
# Safeway Store in Felton
# Across the street from the volunteer fire department in Felton on Empire Grade Road
# Bonny Doon Airport.

KCBS - New Evacuations in Martin Fire

Headed East?

The big fear now for firefighters battling the Martin fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains is that the blaze will creep eastward into the steep, heavily wooded canyons.

Cal Fire spokesman Paul Van Gerwen said today that if the fire sweeps through the Laguna Creek area, it will be immensely difficult to beat back the flames and smoke because of the terrain and thick vegetation in that area. At about 10 a.m., the fire was heading south, roughly parallel to the canyon.

Firefighters have contained 5 percent of the fire, which was reported Wednesday about 3 p.m. on Martin Road in the Bonny Doon area of Santa Cruz County. It's consumed at least 700 acres and forced the evacuation of 1,500 residents. No injuries have been reported, and firefighters have not yet released how many homes or buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Van Gerwen said he had no idea when the fire would be fully contained.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning declared a state of emergency in Santa Cruz County due to the Martin fire.

Real Time Fire Perimeter Information

This is a map of the current fire perimeter. To get a real time version of this map where you can pan and zoom to get the area you are interested in go to: Click on "Wildfire Mapping" and choose "Martin" from the "Jump to Wildfire" drop down in the upper right hand corner. Then choose "zoom in" or "Pan".

Update on Pine Flat Road

Robo got into the lower Pine Flat area about 9:30 on Thursday morning.
She walked in from Smith Grade Road (had to show her driver's license).
She said that the homes on lower Pine Flat Road are fine at this point.
This is the area around the Bonny Doon Tasting Room. Robo said the
area was quite smoky and the electricity was off.

Deb is going to try to go back this afternoon. Stella and two of the
three cats are fine. One cat is still missing.

Thanks for this blog.

another map


updated map with perimeter

Information Resource: KRON offers Live Chat on Bonny Doon Fire

KRON is providing a very helpful and informative live chat on the Bonny Doon Fire:

Jen Wills and Theresa Stone -- Fine and Good

Our house in Ben Lomond was no where near the fire. We are doing fine.

Robin (Robo) - all good.

Just got a call - Robin ("Robo") is fine. She got in and got her dog out last night and is staying with a friend in town.

6:30 AM Update - 5% Containment

As of 6:30 AM Cal Fire reports 5 % containment and 700 acres burned. 50 properties threatened, but, AM 1080 reports no injuries and only one loss of property as of this time.

People are posting offers for a place to stay, board for animals and general help here. Look through the comments.

If you have radio access AM 1080 has the really good local coverage.

Shelter at San Lorenzo Middle School operated by the Red Cross is up and running.

Bonny Doon Fire Photos

By evening the fire seemed to be shifting south and not burning with
nearly the intensity of this afternoon. The winds are calm and there
is moisture in the air. We are at the corner of Empire Grade and Ice
Cream Grade. These photos were taken around 6 p.m. Please post a
couple if you think people would be interested. Thanks!

Boony Doon Fire 2008, near Santa Cruz

Other pictures also posted at:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trailer and 5th Wheel Towing

We have skilled drivers and tow vehicles available at no charge to assist anyone affected by the Martin Rd fires. To get trailers/5th wheels out of the fire path.

Email with contact info or call 438-7600 and leave a message.  I will monitor it regularly.


Scotts Valley RV




thank you for the reassurance!

i appreciate your quick response...

Toni Littlestone | WorkVision
T: 510.528.2221
F: 510.588.5494

Vote for your city's best dining and nightlife. City's Best 2008.

toni littlestone

Don't worry.  So far there have been no injuries and only one structure lost.  We have the best fire crews up here!!

Enjoy 5 GB of free, password-protected online storage. Get Windows Live SkyDrive.

looking for nick littlestone and nancy norris

has anyone had contact with my brother nick littlestone and his family, who live on smith grade road in bonnie doon? i am his sister, toni, and i live in the berkeley area. nick doesn't have a cell phone, and i don't know whether they are okay. would love to hear. my phone is 510.528.2221 and my email is their group also includes phyllis norris, nancy's mother.

thank you for any news.

Toni Littlestone | WorkVision
T: 510.528.2221
F: 510.588.5494

Vote for your city's best dining and nightlife. City's Best 2008.

Cal Fire website link


This site might be interesting/helpful. Didn't know if you had it up
on your site:

Thanks for your site!

- Daria Troxell, Felton

Emailing: IMG_5559.JPG

Taken in front of Felton Fire on Kirby Street.


Hi Stephanie,

What is the best way to get the word out that KSCO (AM 1080) has constant coverage, call-ins, contact information, etc?  Most of my neighbors had no idea to tune in...

Jeanie Howard

It's easy to add contacts from Facebook and other social sites through Windows Live™ Messenger. Learn How.

Road Closures

Road Closures:
  • Alba at Empire Grade
  • Empire Grade at Smith
  • Felton Empire at Ashley
  • Smith at Bonny Doon
  • Livestock evacuation assistance

    According to the article at

    "Santa Cruz Animal Services Authority is available to assist in evacuating
    livestock and domesticated animals. People needing assistance can call
    454-7303 and press #1."

    livestock, horses, large vehicles, etc.

    according to recent reports on KSCO (1080 AM) livestock and horses can be taken to Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz.
    large vehicles and RVs can park in the Lumbermen's parking lot, which is right next door to Roaring Camp Railroad on Graham Hill Road in Felton.
    sending love and energy from Felton to all who are affected by this fire, and to the brave men and women who are fighting it.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    I have 3 horse trailer available

    From: Douglas Jones <>
    Date: June 11, 2008 6:40:00 PM PDT
    Subject: I have 3 horse trailer available

    I have a 3 horse trailer and can help evacuate stock if needed. Email

    Sent from my iPhone

    Emergency Shelter at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School

    NBC news reported that the Red Cross is setting up an Emergency Shelter at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School.

    Here is a link to the slide show with photos of the fire and a line regarding the Shelter.

    Emergency Boarding for Dogs and Cats

    From Lynn Achterberg:

    Hi ...The SC SPCA has emergency boarding available for dogs and cats...their number is 465-5000.

    Does anyone know where livestock is to be taken?


    Project Purr Feral Cat Advocate Organization
    P.O. Box 891
    Santa Cruz, CA 95061
    (831)423-MEOW (6369)

    More News

    CAL FIRE officials said the fire is located just off Martin Road in an area of heavy brush.The fire quickly grew from initial estimates of 50 acres to more than 300 acres in a matter of hours on Wednesday.Fire officials said they expect the fire to grow to as many as 1,000 acres.

    The Eco Reserve Up there is right in the middle of things.

    Links to Fire News Sites

    Breaking News from Mercury News.
    Santa Cruz Sentinel

    Link to Map of the Fire Location

    Here is a link to a google map of the basic fire location. (Click on the title above.)

    Fire should not hit those of us here down in Felton

    Patti just talked to a "fire guy" who said that the fire is moving South towards Santa Cruz and should not hit us here on the East side of the hill (Felton, Ben Lomond).

    More People / Property News: Lisa F., Deb D., Martha Z.

    Chris L. just talked to Lisa F. who is back down in Santa Cruz and is OK.
    7:25 spoke with Deb and Martha. They are safe at a friend's house and got the dog and two of the three cats out. The fire is 2 blocks from their house, however.

    Stephanie Schipper, Chris Leone, Kris Hill and Dianna Williamson all OK

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to let every one know that as of now the Santa Cruz / Bonny Doon fire that started today 6/11/2008 has not affected those of us mentioned above. Ourselves, animals, and homes are OK at the moment.

    We have not heard back from Lisa Ford who has a place on Martin Road. We are hoping her home and her families homes in the area are fine. From the radio, Martin Road, Pine Flats and others are being evacuated.

    Deb and Martha are on their way home now and our thoughts are with them as they are pretty close.

    Please feel free to give out this address to anyone who would like to post their status. Anyone should be able to post a comment using the 'comment' link below.

    Here is a link to some fire news that hopefully will be updated ongoing:

    Road Closures, Shelters, Fire Location - Google Map