Friday, July 18, 2008
On Thursday July 18th the U.S. Forest Service announced that the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for Tassajara Road, as of 7:30pm. The lower Cachagua area was downgraded from a mandatory to voluntary evacuation order.
A mandatory evacuation order remains in place for Martin Road to Piney Creek, but is expected to be lifted soon.
At 2pm on Friday, July 18, the sheriff department issued a ameneded announcement that residents could receive a "road pass" to pass through the checkpoints overseen by the California Highway Patrol. Residents and critical service workers can obtain these passes from the Cachagua Fire department or at the checkpoints, with proof of residency. The sheriff department's Fred Garcia stated that the road passes will ease access through the road checkpoints for local residents.
From the 2pm, July 18 order: Residents living within the Cachagua Fire District can obtain passes from the Cachagua Fire Department. Residents living along the lower portion of Carmel Valley Road can obtain their passes from the California Highway Patrol officer situated near the junction of Carmel Valley Road and Arroyo Seco Road daily between 6:00 am and 8:00PM. Residents will also need to obtain passes for their workers.
Similar to Big Sur residents who were granted permission to return to their homes after the mandatory evacuation down the coast was lifted last week, a driver's license or utility bill is sufficient evidence to prove residency. The objective is to keep the roads easily accessible to the numerous firefighting personnel and locals, and, according to Garcia, "keep the lookie loos away."