Big Sur Information

Photo by bigsurkate (the bitcoin reference below is not mine. Please don’t click on it. I am trying to rid my site of it)



Nacimiento-Fergusson Ro and South Coast Ridge Road from Prewitt Ridge to Nacimiento are both closed due to road damage until further notice,.


For the most thorough and complete guide to Big Sur on the internet see:

Big Sur Visitor’s Guide


Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps... if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.


(Size for any header photos you may wish to submit it is 760×151 pixels.)



Evacuations Lifted, Highway Opens

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Benito-Monterey Unit
CONTACT: (650) 477-0379 RELEASE
DATE: January 26, 2022
Evacuation Orders on Colorado Fire Lifted Monterey, CA – The Evacuation Orders have been lifted on the Colorado Fire.
All roads impacted by the fire, including Highway 1 have been reopened. Emergency vehicles are still working, please use extreme caution when driving through the area.
There will be periodic traffic controls to allow emergency vehicles access to the fire area.

Colorado Fire, Day 6, 1/26/22

Here is our scheduled lineup for the Monterey County Emergency Media Briefing today. 
The briefing streams on Monterey County’s YouTube channel and our Facebook page.
See you at Noon. Maia Carroll Colorado Fire Update Public Health, COVID-19 questions  COVID testing availability/collaboration COVID-19 Collaborative Update/VIDA Champions Awards Office of Emergency Services Resilience Project, “Office Hours”
CAL FIRE morning update 1/26/22

Morning photos from Scott Bogen and Mike Doig. Looking good.

Colorado Fire, Day 5, 1/25/22


California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Benito-Monterey Unit
CONTACT: (650) 477-0379 RELEASE
DATE: January 25, 2022
CAL FIRE Investigators Determine Cause of Colorado Fire
Monterey, CA – Fire investigators have determined the cause of the Colorado Fire in Palo Colorado Canyon (Monterey County) to be hot embers from a pile burning operation. High winds blew the embers onto nearby vegetation, which ignited the fire


Today there is no residents convoy scheduled, so far. Only opening is this afternoon for essential services. As soon as I am notified of the possibility, I will post.

From Mike Doig this AM: “The sun won’t reach the bottom of Rocky Creek for a while. The fire camp is gone but vehicles are still patrolling the roads. It’s clear enough this morning to really see the burn scar.”

Monterey County Colorado Fire Information Wrap Up

Monterey County Emergency Operations Center Colorado Fire Information Wrap Up January 24, 2022
Fire Status/Resources

CAL FIRE has created an incident page for the Colorado Fire:

The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services has created a 2022 Wildfire page which includes Colorado Fire, evacuation maps and fire notifications: emergency-services/2022-wildfires

Essential Services Access Tuesday, January 25th
Essential services will be allowed to access Big Sur between 12:00pm and 5:00pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
Law enforcement escorts will begin at the Traffic Control Points (TCP’s) at the north and south end of the closures on Highway 1.
Essential services including propane, fuel, water, sewer/septic, mail, waste/recycling and Big Sur Health Center staff with valid credentials.

Evacuation orders issued on Friday, January 21 at 9:30 p.m. remain in place.
This includes all areas West of 3800 Palo Colorado Rd. to Highway 1 and South to Bixby Creek.
75 homes received evacuation notices. While there are an estimated 400-500 people in the area
under evacuation, it is estimated fewer than 100 left the area.

Road Closures:
Highway 1 is closed in both directions from Andrew Molera Park/Coast Road to Granite Canyon
Bridge. Stay up to date on road closures using Caltrans Quickmap
A reminder that Nacimiento-Fergusson Road near Big Sur remains closed to the public due to
damage from winter storms.

Monterey County Environmental Health has provided a dumpster in the Big Sur area for spoiled food due to power outage and lack of waste service. The dumpster has been placed at the North Bound shoulder of Highway 1 and Pfeiffer Ridge Road.
The Monterey County Health Department issued a Boil Water Notice for those in the evacuation zones. This applies people whose water system has been impacted by fire due to damaged infrastructure or loss of pressure from power outage. Cal Am customers will not be affected by this notice.

An interactive map of Colorado Fire evacuation zones can be found at: d96b5593eb978

Emergency Shelter:
The emergency shelter set up for evacuees closed today, Monday, January 24, at 7:00 am. Evacuees needing assistance should contact 2-1-1 for information and any additional assistance.
The SPCA of Monterey County continues to provide pet sheltering for evacuees and is currently housing 6 cats and 4 dogs.

Essential Services to and from Big Sur

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Benito-Monterey Unit
Monterey Unit DATE: January 24, 2022
Essential Services To and From Big Sur
Monterey, CA – Essential services will be allowed to access Big Sur between 12:00pm and
5:00pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
Law enforcement escorts will begin at the Traffic Control Points (TCP’s) at the north and south end of the closures on Highway 1.
Essential services including propane, fuel, water, sewer/septic, mail, waste/recycling and Big Sur Health Center staff with valid credentials.

Colorado Fire, Day 4, 1/24/22

Finally, I was unable to be at home today, but instead was on the road all day, and tied up this evening, so my coverage of the fire has been spotty at best.

And the latest John Chesnut heat detection map to further clarify earlier heat maps:

This is tonight’s update. The agencies involved are working on the language for the road closure and evacuations, and we might hear something later tonight or at least by tomorrow morning, hopefully.

The fire has cooled considerably. NW corners still seems active. John Chesnut heat map:

Today, I would like to start your day off with three very different “fire” photos. First are two of Tim Huntington’s Pacific White Sided Dolphins frolicking with the fire in the background. Then there is Martha Diehl’s capture of a helicopter’s water drop rainbow. Al three of these were taken yesterday. Thanks for a great start to the day!

More Colorado Fire photos, 1/23/22

These are also from the night the fire started from Clay Jackson under Bixby looking up at the ridge with the glass house. They are gorgeous!

This first photo is from the night the fire started. This is from Green Ridge on Palo Colorado rd looking west, towards where the first started. This was taken at 8:44pm
– Beth Portesi, resident of Palo Colorado

I was too tired Friday to ge to it, and Saturday it got buried in my inbox, but it is such a good dramatic photo, I want to give everyone the chance to see it.


These first photos are by Mike Doig. He added short descriptions to some of them with which I will caption the photos.

On the east side, 4 planes worked it with 2 drops each
Hain’s pond where helicopters were filing up
Getting smoky
Last few retardant drops were closer to the ocean
South view, the fire camp on the left, Division Knoll in the middle. The helicopter has been working that second ridge. 
North looks pretty good

And here are Blain Vandenberg’s photos:

A lot less fire action at noon than at dawn. With all of the air support and hand crews it seems like this eastern ridge isn’t too far from being contained.
Many a pink strip on the hillside! 
We don’t have a view further down the Rocky Creek drainage, but did see the planes take quite a few low passes of retardant that way

Boil Water Notice and Water after a Wildfire Information



Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.

Due to potential damage to your water system infrastructure from the fire and/or loss of pressure from a power outage, Monterey County Health Department is advising water system users to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution.

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice.  Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.  [

This notice shall remain in place until it has been determined that your water supply is safe to drink.

For more information call:

Water System Contact               phone number

Monterey County Health Department – 831-755-4505

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. 


After a Wild Fire – Your Water Supply

Boil your water until you have completed an assessment, made any necessary repairs, and sample results show the water is absent for coliform.  If system lost pressure or repairs are made, complete disinfection process before testing.  See disinfection and boil water order instructions


For physical damage or a loss in pressure, perform a visual inspection of your well, spring, or surface water intake and all other pipes and appurtenances which work together to bring water into your household. The things you should be looking for include:

~Damage to electrical wires and connectors which supply power to your water system

~Damage to above ground PVC pipes used with the well to bring water to your home

~Damage to well houses and equipment such as chlorinators, filters, or controls

~Damage to sanitary seal or damage to surface water intake structure

~Damage to pressure tanks which could have been caused by exposure to excessive heat

~Damage to storage tanks, vents and overflow pipes

If any damage is found, you should contact the appropriate licensed contractor or

driller to repair the damage.

The water system should be disinfected, instructions available on

OUT OF WATER- If you source is damaged or no power is available, but you have a usable storage tank, water can be hauled by a licensed vendor•

Plan for a storm event:

If your water clarity is affected by typical rain events, we advise the well to be turned off and surface water systems to​close or remove intake structure. This will prevent clogging and introduction of debris into the water system

Know your neighbor – Get to know neighboring water systems, plan on how neighboring water systems can help each other during an emergency. 

Create storage: create 5-10 days of water storage. While it may be difficult to do this alone, if neighboring systems join together it is possible.

What to expect of the surface water source after a storm event:

~Sediment – the first few storms will carry sediment loads up to 10 times normal

~Flow volume- Due to the loss of vegetation, the flows will be up to 2 times greater than before

~Flow Rate – The high sediment causes a smoother faster flow.  This quick speed can cause quick transfer of debris

~Ash- Ash can clog pipes and become a haven for breeding microbes, chlorine reacts with ash to form by products that are harmful.

~Changes in taste, color, odor- you may notice that your water tastes or smells earthy, smoky or burnt and you may need to thoroughly flush your water lines.

For more information, questions, or concerns please contact Environmental Health Bureau at (831)-755-4507

Colorado Fire, Day 3, 1/23/22

Sunday, January 23, 2022 11:50 AM
Dear Community,
Per Chief Harris, Big Sur Fire:
Highway 1 remains closed, and is anticipated to remain closed through Monday, January 24, 2022, with IC continually evaluating conditions and opportunities to restore access. Initial planning is for a convoy system for vendors and residents as early as Monday evening, January 24, 2022.
Given uncertain nature of conditions, Monday evening convoy is not to be relied upon, but by Tuesday, January 25, 2022, convoy(s) will hopefully be in place for mid day and early evening access. Additionally, strong push to re-open highway to the public as well, though convoy(s) at this time are intended initially for business/community re-supply/access purposes.
Overall fire conditions are improving and there are substantial resources assigned to this fire.
On power front, PG&E is expected to re-energize Big Sur area by 1:00 PM today.
Please note that while I am attributing above to Chief Harris, this is a summary of our phone conversation earlier today and any errors or misstatements are solely my responsibility.
Kirk Gafill

10 am the airdrop started a few minutes ago.From Mike Doig

East side of Rocky Creek drainage, photo by Mike Doig
John Chesnut’s wonderful fire signature map

9:30 am — Aircraft beginning to arrive over the fire…

8 am — I get to start your day off with photos from last night and first light by Mike and Blain

From Mike Doig

Colorado Fire, much more active last night then we had hoped

And from Blain Vandenberg:

Unfortunately last night the fire jumped the line that everyone had worked on all day.
It’s smoldering slowly back on the east face of the slope.  Hoping that the planes are on their way this morning! 
Still feeling optimistic.
Picture from sunset last night and this morning. 

”This Coast, this Big Sur we all are so connected to in our hearts and in our blood-flow is a jewel of the elements; Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. She and we who inhabit her boundaries are touched deeply and fiercely by them, in nothing less than dramatic ways.
Our hearts are woven together as one family, now and always, through the tempermental shifts in fate and perspective this raw and wild relationship brings us.
When you stand and face the dawn, know you are not alone, but rather held, cradled by the spirits of all who have held on bravely to her cliffs.” Christian Van Allen (it was too beautiful not to share with this morning’s picture of the dawn.)

Photos, Colorado Fire

From Blain Vandenberg:

We live directly across from the Haines property and looked out the window yesterday evening to find the mountain looking like a volcano. And a racing east wind.

Plenty of spectacular visual drama last night and through today but feeling good watching all of the hand crews cut swiftly down the hill.
Fingers crossed the wind remains still. 
Many many thanks to everyone helping on this! 
Blain vandenberg 

And from Mike Doig, some of the airdrops at 2:45 pm

From Dale Collins driving home from work about 9 pm: