Publication Date August 1, 2016

Wildfire cripples tourism in California’s scenic Big Sur

United States
Smoke from the Soberanes Fire reduces visibility over the typically scenic Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 north of Big Sur on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

A fast-moving wildfire has had a crushing effect on tourism in Big Sur, an area of central California famed for a coastline that’s one of the most scenic in the country, if not the world.

The Soberanes Fire has burned for more than a week inland from Big Sur, so far scorching almost 60 square miles of rugged hills. While Highway 1 and coastal hotels and inns have remained open, many vacationers have been scared away, according to Stan Russell, executive director of the Big Sur chamber of commerce, who said business at some establishments is down 50%