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.
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.