Big Sur

Soberanes Fire Smolders Big Sur Tourism

Aug 3, 2016
Erika Mahoney

Tourism is Big Sur’s only industry and summer is peak season. Since the Soberanes Fire started nearly two weeks ago, businesses have stayed open, but tourist traffic has slowed to a crawl.

Krista Almanzan

Fire investigators say an unattended, illegal campfire is the cause behind the Soberanes Fire.  It started on Friday, July 22nd around 8:45a.m. in Garrapata State Park just south of Carmel Highlands.

Krista Almanzan

A drive down Palo Colorado road starts out still lush and green. The road  shaded by towering trees.  About three miles in, firefighters are mopping up a hillside. 

Krista Almanzan

The Soberanes Fire is now nearly 34,000 acres and 15% contained.  As the fire continues to grow, it’s also slowly moving to the south and the east toward the Los Padres National Forest.

Doug McKnight

The Big Sur community gathered in an outdoor amphitheater on Wednesday night.  They sat surrounded by towering trees at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  The beautiful scenery stood in stark contrast to the destruction of the fire not so far away.  

The high ridges and steep mountainsides are part of what make Big Sur beautiful.  The long and winding roads that lead to isolated areas are why many people choose to live here.  All of it also makes fighting the Soberanes Fire difficult. 

Soberanes Fire: Bulldozer Operator Killed Overnight

Jul 27, 2016
Erika Mahoney

UPDATE: CalFire has identified the bull dozer operator as Robert Oliver Reagan III.  He was 35 years old and from Friant, California.  

The Soberanes Fire turned deadly overnight Tuesday when a bulldozer operator was killed.

Doug McKnight

CURRENT AIR QUALITY LEVELS

The Soberanes Fire has left much of the Monterey Bay Area under a peachy haze. In many communities, it’s simply unhealthy to be outside.

Doug McKnight

As the Soberanes Fire burns to the east, a steady stream of traffic continues to flow down Highway 1.  While the road  officially remains open, Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal discourages drivers from using it.

Doug McKnight

Twenty homes have been destroyed in the Soberanes Fire which continues to burn near Carmel Highlands and in Big Sur.  As of Monday, the fire has grown to nearly 15,000 acres and is still just 5% contained.  

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