UPDATE (9:30 p.m.)- The Willow Fire is now 2,392 acres and zero percent contained.
UPDATE (2:00 p.m.)- The Willow Fire is currently at 2,080 acres and zero percent containment according to officials of the Los Padres National Forest.
They report that although there was some moisture recovery overnight the landscape remains critically dry.
UPDATE (6:10 p.m.) - By 6 p.m., the Willow Fire had grown to approximately 2,000 acres, according to NBC affiliate KSBW.
(4:13 p.m.) - A wildfire dubbed the Willow Fire broke out in the Big Sur area on Thursday night and had burned approximately 750 acres by Friday afternoon.
The fire is reportedly burning in the Ventana Wilderness northwest of the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area, close to the Tassajara Zen Center.
Tassajara Rd. is closed from the Tassajara Zen Center to China Camp and residents in that area have been evacuated. The Arroyo Seco Recreation Area is also closed. An evacuation advisory was issued for Arroyo Seco Rd. to Carmel Valley Rd.
The latest evacuation information is updated on the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services' website.
Approximately 300 firefighters have been assigned to the fire, with air tankers and water-dropping helicopters assisting crews on the ground.
Fire officials say it's burning in steep, rugged, and brushy terrain that is only accessible by hiking in. Weather conditions are reportedly hot and dry with temperatures near 100 degrees.
Fuels near the #WillowFire are exceedingly dry, even by June standards given the ongoing drought. Latest Energy Release Component (ERC) for the interior Central Coast shows values at daily records and well above the 97th percentile. Nearby temps from 93-103 before noon! #cawx pic.twitter.com/suGg6ppIPh— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) June 18, 2021
According to the National Weather Service, the fire is burning just north of the 2020 Dolan Fire burn scar.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.