About the Brigade

help-support-the-big-sur-volunteer-fire-brigadeFacebook_LogoUpdated: September 14, 2017

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


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




The Latest BSVFB News:  August 2017 Round Up Report


July 30, 2017 - Pfeiffer Canyon bridge construction continuing.

July 30, 2017 – Pfeiffer Canyon bridge construction continuing.

Fire and Rain 2017 - Purple-page-0 HIGHWAY 1 CLOSED:  Update – July 28, 2017 – Due to movement of the bridge support columns earlier in the year, the Pfeiffer Canyon span, or “bridge” in Big Sur was severely damaged and has since been removed by CAL TRANS. Highway 1 is closed in both directions, north and south, at this location. A new bridge is currently under construction. Completion of the bridge is scheduled for mid to late September 2017. CAL TRANS has worked continuously for the past several months to clear numerous slides on Highway 1 south of Big Sur extending to the San Luis Obispo county line, about 40 miles south of Big Sur.  One of the larger slides, “Paul’s Slide” was finally cleared on July 18th and Highway 1 was re-opened at that location. The largest slide along the coast, the massive “Mud Creek Slide” continues to block Highway 1 at a location about 36 miles south of Big Sur, a short distance north of Ragged Point. The section of Highway 1 between the closure at Pfeiffer Canyon in the heart of Big Sur, and the closure at the “Mud Creek Slide” to the south, can be reached by the connecting Nacimiento-Fergusson Road that passes through the Santa Lucia Mountains and connects to Highway 101 via Jolon Road in the Salinas Valley. If planning on traveling in this area, it is strongly advised to check the Road Conditions section of the CALTRANS website before you travel. For additional information on conditions in the Big Sur area as it becomes available, you can go to our Facebook Page by clicking on the Facebook logo in the upper left hand corner of this page.




Pfeiffer Canyon Bypass Trail progress on March 16, 2017.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bypass Trail progress on March 16, 2017.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bypass Trail: Update – July 2, 2017 – Since the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 in Big Sur is being rebuilt by CAL TRANS, a foot trail has been constructed that allows persons to walk between the north and sound sections of Pfeiffer Canyon.  Once the trail was completed back in March, it was only for local residents, school children, and service workers who are employed at businesses south of Pfeiffer Canyon.  After careful consideration, and effective July 1, 2017, the trail is now open to the public. The trail construction was a join effort between California State Parks, the California Conservation Corps, the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade, and community volunteers.  This cooperation succeeded in constructing a trail in much less time than ever thought possible. With construction of a new bridge scheduled to take at least six months, the walking path will at least allow local residents and visitors the ability to get to either side of the canyon.  Additional information on the trail access and bus shuttle service:


How to get to cut-off Big Sur: Trail Opens to the Public July 1″, The Mercury News, June 26, 2017


Sur Transportation – Shuttle Service to and from the Pfeiffer Canyon Access Trail



DSC_3877For 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 2016 – 2017 Big Sur Guide provided by the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce.



fpw17900x200National Fire Prevention Week is October 8 – 14, 2017.  First recognized in 1922 by then President Warren Harding, the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme is  “Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out.”  According to the National Fire Protection Association, In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. 

For more information on smoke alarms and fire prevention practices, check out the websites of the National Fire Protection Association or the United States Fire Fire Administration.


Donations are Welcomed and Appreciated:help-support-the-big-sur-volunteer-fire-brigade

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 the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. Click below to view our annual donation request letter from Fire Chief, Martha Karstens and thanks for your past and continued support of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Donation Request Letter, November 2016



About the Fire Brigade:

The Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1974 to provide structure fire protection for the residents and businesses in the Big Sur area. The  Brigade 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.  The Brigade remains an all-volunteer company, 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 Volunteer Fire Brigade

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 the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade by credit card or using Pay Pal, click on the “Support Us” tab above.



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

Treebones Resort

Big Sur River Inn & Restaurant


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.