Evacuation widened as fire near Big Sur spreads

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has ordered mandatory evacuations for Rocky Creek, Old Coast Road and Bixby Creek Road from state Highway 1 to Middle Road because of the spread of the Soberanes Fire, a wildfire near Carmel-By-The-Sea.

The fire started Friday around 8:50 a.m. and has quickly grown in size. By Saturday evening, the fire was reported to have burned 6,500 acres and grew to 10,262 acres by Sunday morning.

The fire has destroyed one outbuilding and is currently threatening about 1,650 structures, Cal Fire officials said.

Containment for the Soberanes Fire, which is burning an area south of Carmel-By-the-Sea and north of Big Sur, remains at five percent, according to Cal Fire.

At least one person was reported injured. Information about the extent of their injuries and their condition was not immediately available.

Firefighters with Cal Fire and various other fire departments throughout the area are attempting to battle the fire from both the air and on the ground. Because the fire is located in a remote area, access is challenging, according to Cal Fire officials.

Mandatory evacuations began Friday night for residents in the community of Palo Colorado and remain in effect. Evacuations are advised for residents in the communities of Carmel Highlands and San Rancho Clemente, but are not mandatory.

That advisory is also in effect for Rancho San Carlos Road and White Rock, Cal Fire officials said.

An evacuation center has been opened at Carmel Middle School at 4380 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel-By-The-Sea for residents affected by the fire.

Monterey County officials also announced that Toro Park will be closed starting today as firefighters continue to battle the wildfire.

The park will be used by Cal Fire crewmembers as a base camp and will remain closed to the public until the firefighting efforts are complete, county officials said.