Big Sur and Santa Barbara Area Still Open for Business in Spite of Fires

Firefighters continue to fight two major blazes that threaten towns along California’s central coast, including Big Sur, about 140 miles south of San Francisco. Flames in Big Sur have consumed more than 72,000 acres in the past two weeks and mandatory evacuations are in effect, with 1,700 homes under threat and 16 already destroyed. The fire is only 11 percent contained and fire officials report that it’s expected to burn until the end of July, although Big Sur appears to have been spared.

Highway 1 was closed at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, but the road from Monterey to the main resorts of Big Sur remains open, including Big Sur Lodge, the largest hotel in the area, although it’s only half-full due to cancellations.

Further south, residents in more than 2,600 homes in the Santa Barbara area were still under evacuation orders, while hundreds of other families were poised for additional warnings to evacuate.

Central and northern California has been hit by more 1,700 fires since June 21, destroying 69 homes and ravaging 520,000 acres.