Publication Date August 10, 2016

Soberanes Fire continues its march south, threatening Big Sur

United States
A helicopter makes a water drop on the Soberanes Fire as it burns on the west slope of Mount Manuel in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on Tuesday. Photo: Vern Fisher / Monterey Herald

Carloads of tourists stopped at the turnout just south of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to watch as the Soberanes Fire extended its reach and began a descent down Mount Manuel on Tuesday afternoon.

At the same time, locals watched the same progress with concern and memories of the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire of 2013.

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Firefighters turned their attention toward Big Sur on Tuesday, as resources were diverted from areas that were already contained. Cal Fire officials said they were concentrating efforts to protect Big Sur and keep the fire east of Highway 1. Helicopters made water drops most of the afternoon.

For the second time since the Soberanes Fire first started more than two weeks ago, a stretch of Highway 1 from Palo Colorado Road to Coast Ridge Road at Ventana Inn was scheduled to be closed to all traffic from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday due to an increase in wind and fire activity in the Big Sur area.

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The fire has consumed more than 67,000 acres and is 50 percent contained