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.
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.
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.
The Soberanes Fire continues to burn out of control southeast of Carmel Highlands in Big Sur. As of Monday morning, the fire has grown to 11,000 acres and is 5% contained. Six homes have been destroyed and the number of evacuation orders have grown.
A mandatory evacuation remains in effect for the community of Palo Colorado in Big Sur as the Soberanes Fire continues to burn out of control. Carmel Highlands is under an evacuation warning. All residents are asked to be prepared to leave the area immediately.
For years, composer Philip Glass has hoped The Philip Glass Center could make its home on a ranch in Big Sur. The vision is for a place where artists, scientists and conservationists can collaborate. But earlier this year the US Forest Service rejected his application to lease the land. Still it’s a plan Glass and his team don’t plan to abandon.