Monterey County Wildfire Safety Information & Alerts

WILDFIRE ALERT

Travelers should be advised that on Friday, January 22, 2022, a wildfire  the Colorado Fire) began burning between Carmel and Big Sur in the Palo Colorado Canyon. This has resulted in the following:

ROAD CLOSURES: Highway 1 is closed in both directions from the Granite Canyon Bridge to the entrance of Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur.

EVACUATION ORDERS: Mandatory evacuation orders are in place in areas west of 3800 Palo Colorado Road to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek. Find more information on evacuation zones here.  

Some businesses in Big Sur are currently facing power outages due to this incident. Visitors to the area are asked to remain patient as emergency service teams and the Big Sur community work on repairs and containing the wildfire.

For continued updates on this incident, please visit Cal Fire’s website. For traffic updates, visit CalTrans. For alternative outdoor recreation ideas, find more information here.


Warm, dry summer and autumn conditions make for a beautiful experience in Monterey County, but also bring a higher risk for fires. Wildfires predominantly occur in remote, forested areas away from population centers. As you travel to Monterey County, we want travelers to be prepared with information to navigate this season and help prevent future outbreaks.

It is important to follow all laws regarding open fires, camp only in designated areas, dispose of cigarettes properly and put out all fires in designated areas. Travelers should also have an emergency plan and follow any evacuation orders.  

BEFORE TRAVELING, VISITORS SHOULD:

  • Research nearby areas on their itinerary - it may be possible to easily reroute a trip to another location in the case of interruption by fire-related effects
  • Consult local weather and air-quality forecasts, as well as look for any alerts and possible road closures
  • Sign up for emergency alerts and download the Cal Fire app
  • Anticipate potential short-term public safety power shutoffs to reduce the risk of additional fires 

TRAVELERS WITH TRIPS PLANNED TO AN AREA AFFECTED BY ACTIVE FIRES SHOULD:

  • Contact lodging providers for the latest on-the-ground information, including whether evacuations, closures or preventative power shutoffs are possible, or whether rooms are needed for evacuees from surrounding affected communities
  • Speak to airline providers about canceling or rescheduling flights. Typically flights run as usual unless air quality is severely impacted

TRAVELERS AFFECTED BY FIRES SHOULD:

  • Follow guided evacuation plans
  • Be sure to keep a half-tank of gas in their vehicles and some emergency provisions on hand
  • Be mindful of poor air quality's effects and consider staying indoors and reducing physical activity if smoke has make the air quality unhealthy. Use tight-fitting N95 or P100 masks to help reduce exposure. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Wondering what you can do to be a mindful steward of Monterey County, and minimize contributions to wildfire season? Remember to camp only in designated areas, and that campfires, barbeques, and open fires are not allowed except in developed campgrounds. Travel responsibly by removing all trash from the environment, and leaving no trace behind.

For more information, watch “Land of Many Uses," produced by CABS (Community Association of Big Sur), below.

"First and foremost, please keep coming to Big Sur, and when you come, please support the local hospitality businesses. Itʻs those businesses that support our community.

When you come to Big Sur, you can practice good strewardhip by leaving only your footprints, and taking only your memories."

Butch Kronlund, Executive Director of CABS


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES