Soberanes Fire

Erika Mahoney

Winter rain created lush green hillsides across California. Soon, summer heat will dry out this growth, creating fuel for wildfire. To prepare, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered fire prevention work in vulnerable communities across the state.

Krista Almanzan

NEW Update: This closure on Palo Colorado Road has been moved  again.  It's now Tuesday, June 26th at 7:00am.  This will not change the project completion date.

Rural parts of Monterey County are still grappling with damage from last year’s storms.  Palo Colorado Road was one of the hardest it.

The road begins at the coast on Highway 1 and stretches eight miles deep into the Big Sur wilderness.  Starting today, a part of it will close for about four months of repairs. 

Erika Mahoney

Nearly two years after the Soberanes Fire, some Big Sur hiking trails are still closed. The fire and following mudslides left major damage. But this Saturday, one popular trail is reopening. 

Krista Almanzan

The Soberanes Fire is slowly moving closer to the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, east of Big Sur.  It's the first Buddhist Monastery built in the West.  The fire is about four miles away.

When and if the fire gets there, students and teachers who practice at the center plan to be the ones fighting it.  That’s because they’re unlikely to get much outside support.

InciWeb (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4888/)

Just one evacuation order remains in effect, and the number of firefighters on the scene has continued to go down as crews make progress on the Soberanes Fire.

Laura Crosta

Singer,  songwriter, Sharon Van Etten is known for her Indie, rock and folk style music that evokes open landscapes and lonely expanses.  She was originally scheduled to perform at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur but that was before a small fire grew into a devastating giant, the Soberanes Fire. 

Animal Evacuees Find A Home At SPCA

Aug 9, 2016
Doug McKnight

Progress is being made in a fire that has scorched 60 thousand acres in Big Sur. The Soberanes fire is 45 percent contained.  Now evacuees from Palo Colorado and Cachagua are being allowed to return to their homes and for many it is a time to reunite with their pets.

Krista Almanzan

As helicopters fly overhead, a cloud of dark gray smoke rises into the sky.  The sun appears red.   But Steve Schuster stands in the driveway of his Cachagua home relaxed.  

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.  

Doug McKnight

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. 

Pages