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Soberanes Fire: Drivers Encouraged to Stay Off Highway 1

Doug McKnight
Fire trucks lined up along Highway 1 as traffic continues to flow to and from Big Sur.

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.

“There’s a lot of emergency equipment that’s parked along the highway.  The more traffic we have along highway 1.  The more danger we have. You put the fire crews in danger,” says Bernal speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, day five of the fire.

“If you are just going down there to check out the fire, we encourage you not to do that. If you are going down to give business to the businesses along Highway 1 we encourage that,” he continues.

Restaurants and other businesses in the community of Big Sur remain open. 

But California State Parks has closed its Big Sur destinations  from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park north to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve .  Those locations and all state parks in between remain closed until further notice.

“And if you can get that message out that would alleviate a lot of congestion on Highway 1, and let the resources get where they need to go,” says James Bilz with California State Parks.

Although Highway 1 remains open, there are several road closures including Palo Colorado and West Ridge Road both starting at Highway 1 and Robinson Canyon Road south of Penon Peak Trail.