The Soberanes Fire in Big Sur, which fire officials are now saying may not be contained for another month, continues burning through steep and rugged terrain and has now destroyed 57 homes, up from 41 on Friday. The fire covers 52 square miles now, or 38,000 acres, and as CBS 5 reports, there are now 5,000 firefighters battling it.
The tourism industry in the popular destination of Big Sur along Highway 1 has also been impacted, and the Associated Press says that business owners say business is down by 50 percent in the last week. The area remains inundated with smoke, but the fire so far has remained to the north and east of Big Sur's famed redwood groves, in the Carmel Valley and above the fog line on the coastal ridges.
An evacuation warning from CalFire was issued Sunday morning for the communities of Cachagua, Jamesburg, and Tassajara, where they believe the fire is likely headed next, deep in the mountainous valley east of Big Sur. This area was last burned by a major wildfire in 2008, when the San Francisco Zen Center's Tassajara retreat was famously saved from the flames by a group of five monks. A smaller wildfire also hit the area last September, but that fire only burned about 1,100 acres.
Fire officials believe they will be battling the blaze throughout the month of August, and as many as 2,000 structures remain threatened.