KING CITY, Calif. (KION) Fire crews discussed today's fight to put out the Willow Fire at 7 a.m. in an operational briefing in the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City. The plan is to create a barrier near the Arroyo Seco campground by clearing any vegetation that could fuel the fire. Aircraft have been flying around dropping retardant lines to slow the fire down. Winds might change in the afternoon, so the team is watching the relative humidity levels to plan their next move.
According to the Public Information Officer, Thanh Nguyen, communication is key for any fire. “The briefing is a message from all sections to our line troops to let them know what's the expectation," said Nguyen. "What are the objectives, and to make sure that everybody's safe, and they get off the line safely."
The Incident Commander, operations, logistics, and information section teams were present for this morning. A total of 451 firefighters and overhead staff are currently assigned to the Willow Fire that is currently burning in 2,392 acres and is still 0% contained. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"It may have grown, it may not have grown," said Nguyen. "The key is we need that reliable mapping from our crews out there. And so it's gonna take some time, but we are putting that out. Hopefully, by the very least we're putting it out once a day. But, if there are any significant changes, our information is coming out through the web, and the Los Padres, Twitter, and Facebook account.”
As of Monday morning, the fire is heading eastward towards the Arroyo Seco campground, said Nguyen. Firefighters have already been working near the area removing vegetation in the line of fire. Steep terrain and smoke are two of the biggest challenges firefighters are currently facing.
“People on the outside are wondering why we're at 0% containment," said Nguyen. "The biggest challenge that our ground crews are dealing with is accessibility. It's not to say that they're not trying."