Soberanes Fire spreads to 6,500 acres, prompts evacuations

Byby Sergio Quintana KGO logo
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Big Sur brush fire spreads to 6,500 acres
Cal Fire officials said a Monterey County wildfire that has burned 6,500 acres is 5 percent contained and is threatening 1,000 structures.

BIG SUR, California (KGO) -- Cal Fire officials say a Monterey County wildfire that has burned 6,500 acres is 5 percent contained Saturday evening.

Cal Fire reported on Twitter at 6:19 p.m. that the 6.500-acre Soberanes Fire that started Friday morning east of Soberanes Creek is threatening 1,000 structures and has forced evacuations.

Evacuations got under way Friday night for residents near Palo Colorado Road.

Palo Colorado Road is closed, as well as Weston Ridge Road and areas around Garrapata Creek, according to Monterey County sheriff's officials.

An evacuation center is open at Carmel Middle School at 4380 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Fire and law enforcement officials have also issued a warning to residents of the unincorporated community of Carmel Highlands to be prepared to evacuate if an order is issued.

Residents should be prepared to leave their homes immediately if the warning is upgraded to a voluntary evacuation order, according to Monterey County officials.

The Soberanes Fire was first reported in an area about five miles south of Carmel's Garrapata State Park, Cal Fire officials said.

The San Francisco Fire Department got a call Saturday afternoon to send resources to the Soberanes Fire. Strike teams are already on their way there.

Five strike teams have been mobilized, comprised of five engines and 22 firefighters. This is their first wildland fire deployment of the season.

"This was a Code 3 request, so it's an immediate need. As of this morning, my understanding is there was 1,000 structures that were threatened and I don't know what's happened between 8:45 this morning and now," said San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Bob Postel.

There are teams from four different Bay Area counties that have been mobilized, including Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

The strike teams mobilized from the San Francisco Fire Department are trained in structure protection, so the five engines sent will likely be deployed to some of those homes that are threatened by encroaching fire.

Click here for full coverage on the Soberanes Fire.

Bay City News contributed to this report.