California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters battled a nearly 3-square-mile blaze in rugged mountains north of the majestic Big Sur region on Saturday, calling in Bay Area police departments to help control the fire.
The blaze, five miles south of Garrapata State Park, posed a threat to 1,000 homes and the community of Palo Colorado was ordered evacuated, Cal Fire said. A middle school in Carmel-by-the-Sea was readied as an evacuation center.
A strike team from Santa Clara County met at a Gilroy fire station headed to the area Saturday.
Jerri Masten-Hansen and her husband said she and her husband watched the fire creep in.
"We felt threatened this morning and decided we needed to go," Masten-Hansen told KSBW-TV.
Her sister also left her home down the road.
"I grabbed all the pictures of the kids and then I took the paintings of my parents that had been done by a local artist," Ellen Masten said.
More than 300 firefighters were on the lines. A fire chief from San Francisco told NBC Bay Area that he sent crews down to for structure protection. Alameda County also had teams sent to Monterey.
Highway 1 and businesses in the Big Sur area, a major summer tourist destination, remained open.