About Big Sur Fire



Over 40 Years of Fire Protection – Rescue – Emergency Medical Services


The Mission of Big Sur Fire is to provide dependable fire protection and emergency services for Big Sur with teamwork, respect, and integrity.



Mill Fire 2

NEW: August 13, 2019.  The “Mill Fire” was first reported at 0536 hours on July 30, 2019, in an area north of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road in the Los Padres National Forest on the southern Big Sur coastal area above the Mill Creek drainage.  The Forest Service, along with state and local resources, including Big Sur Fire, made good progress in stopping the spread of the fire.  As of  9:26 AM on August 13, 2019, The U.S. Forest Service reports that the fire is now 100% contained. A great effort by federal, state, and local agencies to fully contain and extiguish this potentially devastating fire. The fire burned 310 acres and no structures were damaged. A Forest Closure Order took effect on August 4, 2019, for several trails and roads in the immediate area of the fire. Daily updated information on the “Mill Fire” can be found on the  “InciWeb – Incident Information System” website by clicking HERE.  Photos of Big Sur Firefighters assigned to the “Mill Fire” can be found in our Photo Gallery or by clicking HERE.








66867527_2280972158624652_4496557568927203328_nJuly 19, 2019:  The Big Sur Firefighters had an opportunity to train with the CHP Air Operations Division on July 13, 2019 in Big Sur at the Post Ranch Landing Zone.  CHP Copter H-70 and crew provided vital and critical information for our firefighters when working near a helicopter.  Due to remote locations in the Big Sur area, and the extended travel time to the nearest hospital, helicopter resources are an invaluable tool for Big Sur Fire.  Along with CHP H-70, other helicopters that serve the Big Sur area and assist Big Sur Fire are CALSTAR, Mercy Air, and Cal Fire Copter 406.










Photo by: Stan Russell

Photo by: Stan Russell


July 8, 2019:  Registration is now open for the 39th annual Big Sur River Run happening on Sunday, October 26, 2019, at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. All proceeds from this great run benefit Big Sur Fire and the Big Sur Health Center.  Click HERE  for more information, race registration, and volunteer opportunities.    














June 12, 2019 Our annual Firefighters Muster and Community BBQ was held on June 8, 2019, at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  We had a great turnout and appreciated all the incredible support.  Thanks to everyone who make the event a huge success and for all those who attended. Check out photos of the event in our Photo Gallery.










May 7, 2019 – We had a great Community Open House on May 4, 2019, at our main fire station celebrating our 45th anniversary and International Firefighter’s Day.  Thanks to everyone that attended and special thanks to food donated by Treebones Resort, Esalen Institute, Coast Big Sur Cafe and Gallery, Deetjen’s, Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur Bakery, Big Sur Taphouse, Fernwood, and Big Sur River Inn.  Check out photos of the event in our Photo Gallery. 





Campfire Permit - Darker

April 19, 2019 – Big Sur Fire is awarded a Cal Fire grant as part of 66 Statewide local fire prevention projects.  See the Big Sur Fire Press Release HERE.


December 10, 2018On December 6, 2018, during a congressional session, the Honorable Jimmy Panetta, U.S. Representative , honored Fire Chief Martha Karstens for her many years of dedicated service to Big Sur Fire and the Big Sur community.  Representative Panetta’s comments are now part of the Congressional Record.  The entirety of his comments can be found HERE.


October 31, 2018 – In anticipation for potential severe weather events along the Big Sur Coast, CALTRANS has developed emergency plans that will include the possible temporary closure of Highway 1 in the Mud Creek area and at Paul Slide.  Click HERE for additional information from CALTRAN’s District 5 Public Information Officer, Susana Z. Cruz.  To view an enlarged map of the closure area, click HERE.








Chief Martha Karstens receiving a check from the Community Foundation for Monterey County for $25,000 for donations from the Big Sur Relief Fund at Nepenethe Restaurant on July 24, 2018

Chief Martha Karstens receiving a check from the Community Foundation for Monterey County for $25,000 for donations from the Big Sur Relief Fund at Nepenethe Restaurant on July 24, 2018

Members of Big Sur Fire and the U.S. Forest Service at Captain Cooper School on October 16, 2018.

Members of Big Sur Fire and the U.S. Forest Service at Captain Cooper School on October 16, 2018.























Monterey County ConnectFor the latest road conditions in the Big Sur area, check the CALTRANS Road Conditions website.


Learn how to protect your home and property from landslides and debris flow at ready.gov


 Learn what you can do to protect your home and property from Wildfire!


Check out all the things to do in Big Sur in the Big Sur Guide, Summer 2018 – Spring 2019   provided by the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce.


Monterey County Connect.  Report illegal parking, graffiti, dumping and many other concerns at Monterey County Connect.  Click on the image to the left for more information.





Fire Prevention Week 2018

Fire Prevention Week occurs every year during the first week in October.  The them for Fire Prevention Week in 2018 was : “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The theme works to educate about us about the three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire – and how to escape safely in the event of one.


“LOOK” for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

“LISTEN” for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should meet.

“LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – he’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.”



Donations are Welcomed and Appreciated:Help Support the Big Sur Fire-page-0

We understand completely how it can seem overwhelming with all the requests for donations from the many worthy organizations out there, especially during the holiday season. Well, the reality is that many non-profit organizations simply would not exist if it were not for the generous donations and support from people like yourselves. Indeed, we are one of those organizations. Since we receive no governmental funding, our existence, and our ability to serve the Big Sur community, and the numerous visitors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, comes primarily from very much appreciated private donations.  We are here to serve the Big Sur Community to the best of our ability and we need your help to do just that.  Please consider a donation in any amount to help us maintain a vital service to the Big Sur community and our visitors. Please click on the “DONATE NOW tab at the top of this page for ways to support Big Sur Fire. Click below to view our annual donation request letter and thanks for your past and continued support of Big Sur Fire.

Donation Request Letter – November 2018



About Big Sur Fire:

Big Sur Fire was founded in 1974 as the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade to provide structure fire protection for the residents and businesses in the Big Sur area. Big Sur Fire now provides both structure and wildland fire protection, along with rescue and emergency medical response for the Big Sur Community and its over 4 million annual visitors.  Big Sur Fire remains as an all-volunteer organization, with about 20 members, responding to an area which covers 60 miles of coastline along Highway One. 


Marathon Donation - BSVFB 2017-page-0

How We Are Funded:

We are funded almost entirely by grants and donations from fundraising activities such as our Big Sur River Run, our annual BBQ and Firefighter’s Muster, the Big Sur Marathon, and the Nepenthe Halloween Bal Masque. We also send out a fundraising letter each year requesting support from our local residents. We welcome any and all donations as we are continually trying to upgrade our equipment and emergency response capabilities.

Contributions such as cash, appreciated stock, in-kind professional services, and used vehicles and equipment have in the past helped us build our capabilities for emergency response. If you would like to contact us about making a donation, our address is:

Big Sur Fire

P.O. Box 520

Big Sur, CA. 93920

Phone:  831-667-2113

As a non-profit, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) organization, tax-exempt number 94-2840361, and registered to solicit donations in the state of California, your donation will be gladly accepted. To make a tax deductible donation to Big Sur Fire by credit card or using Pay Pal, click on the “Support Us” tab above.



Local business where you can purchase Big Sur Fire clothing and apparel:

Please call 805-927-2390 for current clothing and apparel availability. New apparel should be arriving soon at:

Treebones Resort


News and updates from the Big Sur Community Emergency Response Team: (Big Sur CERT)

Big Sur Community Emergency Response Team


Information and local events in the Big Sur Community from the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce:

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce


Information and news from the Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA):

Coast Property Owners Association




El Sur Ranch and Pico Blanco Mountain, February 24, 2012


Soberanes Fire: August 11,2016. Fire retardant base on the El Sur Ranch below Pico Blanco

Soberanes Fire: August 11,2016. Fire retardant base on the El Sur Ranch below Pico Blanco



Rock Slide Big Sur 2017

One of the many rock slides along Highway 1, February 2017



May 24, 2017, Mud Creek Slide.

May 24, 2017, Mud Creek Slide.