My Car Quest

April 19, 2024

There Are Extra Visitors In Monterey County Now – Firefighters

by Mike –

Those of you from outside the Monterey County area who are planning to attend Monterey Car Week in about two weeks may not be aware we are in the middle of the largest wild fire in Monterey County in many years.

It is known as the Soberanes fire or maybe you have heard it called the Big Sur fire because most people do not know where the Soberanes Creek is (I didn’t until this fire broke out).

The areas where the car events take place (Carmel, Monterey, Laguna Seca, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Sandcity etc…) are not threatened by the fire. There is, however, smoke at different locations and times depending on the weather conditions.

Smoke in Carmel Valley

Smoke plume in Carmel Valley toward the south today (August 2, 2016) – photo by Rebecca Fuller

The traffic can be effected as well and driving down Highway 1 south of Carmel toward Big Sur is not recommended.

If you have plans for the Big Sur area you may want to check on the status of any accommodations you had planned.

Our thanks to all the fire fighters and others who are fighting this fire. Many fire fighters have travelled hundreds of miles to put out this fire.

Because of these unplanned guests taking up hotel rooms it may be a good idea to confirm your hotel reservation.

This fire is expected to be under control by the end of August.

Below is summary information provided by California fire officials at this link as of 7:00AM on August 2.

Acreage/Containment: 43,400 acres – 18% contained
Structures Threatened: 2,000
Structures Destroyed: 57 homes, 11 outbuildings
Structures Damaged: 3 homes, 2 outbuildings
Injuries: 1 fatality

Engines: 510
Crews: 107
Helicopters: 17
Air Tankers: 6
Dozers: 72
Water Tenders: 51
Total Personnel: 5,451

Road Closures: Palo Colorado Road at Hwy 1, Robinson Canyon Road (south of San Clemente Trail), Weston Ridge RD at Hwy 1, Garrapatos Creek Rd at Hwy 1, Old Coast Rd at Hwy 1 and Bixby Bridge, Cachagau Rd South from E. Carmel Valley Rd. is open to residents only. Full Closure occurs at Nason Rd. Tassajara Rd South from Carmel Valley Rd.

REPOPULATION Effective August 1st: The portions of Santa Lucia Preserve on Rancho San Carlos between Cantera Run and Garzas Trail.

o Palo Colorado
o Old Coast Road
o Bixby Creek Road from Highway 1 south to Mesa
o Garrapatos Road
o Weston Ridge Road (aka Garrapatos Road)
o Robinson Canyon Road from San Clemente Trail to White Rock Gun Club
o South of San Clemente Trail from Robinson Canyon to Rancho Can Clemente Gate House, to include Arroyo Sequoia Road
o Cachagua Road from Nason Road to Tassajara Road
o Tassajara Road from Carmel Valley Road to the Tassajara Hot Springs Zen Center
o Nason Road

o White Rock
o Old Coast Road, south from Bixby Creek Road to Little Sur River
o North of San Clemente Trail/Dormody Road, including Black Mountain Trail
o Touche Pass, the community of San Clemente and all of Long Ridge Trail – Black Mountain is the boundary
o Carmel Valley Road from San Clemente Drive to Country Road
o Carmel Valley Road from Cachagua Road to Nason Road

CALIFORNIA STATE PARK CLOSURES: All California State Parks from Point Lobos State Natural Reserve through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are closed until further notice; which includes Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground and Day Use and Point Sur Historic Lighthouse.

Soberanes fire map

The red area is the fire

Carmel River Beach photo by Rebecca Fuller (July 31, 2016)

Carmel River Beach photo by Rebecca Fuller (July 31, 2016)

Above is a photo taken on Sunday July 31, 2016, showing where the Carmel River flows into the ocean (sometimes it does flow). The air is hazy brown and this is mostly smoke with maybe some fog mixed in. To the right is Highway 1 heading south to Big Sur.

Soberanes Creek

A more detailed map (dated July 26) – click for a larger view

Let us know what you think in the Comments.


There Are Extra Visitors In Monterey County Now - Firefighters
Article Name
There Are Extra Visitors In Monterey County Now - Firefighters
There are 5,451 firefighters in Monterey County now fighting the Big Sur (Soberanes) fire.


  1. I was at Andrew Molera St. Park and of course Julia Pfeiffer Burns St. Park in 2011. I understand these back country areas are closed. I stuck to the coast on that trip. Three cheers for the Fire Fighters! Our prayers are with them!

  2. Wallace Wyss says

    My hopes are pinned on the rain predicted by Accuweather for the 15th. Hope it’s a deluge enough to put out the fire not just a shower as they predict. Anybody can check the weather forecast by going to:

  3. wallace wyss says

    Though the fire has grown about 25% it is growing toward the South, not the North toward Monterey. The authorities think it will be out by Aug. 31st but an announcement two days ago in the Monterey Herald was that none of the old car week events have been cancelled. The National Guard–relieving the firefighters who have been sent to the front lines of the advancing portion of the fires–are parking on Carmel Valley Road, though so I don’t know if the Ferraris and such will get in the way of their deuce and a quarters….

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