The fire erupted in the area of Pfeiffer Ridge in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest around midnight Sunday, officials said. It has burned 550 acres, with 0 percent containment.
Crews continued to make water drops over flames Tuesday. No injuries have been reported.
Officials said the fire has destroyed 22 buildings. About 14 of those structures were homes.
Among the homes destroyed was that of Big Sur Fire Chief Martha Karstens.
"I'm just trying to function as a chief," she said.
Clear Ridge Road, Pfeiffer Ridge Road and River End to Pfeiffer Ridge Road are closed due to the brush fire.
An overnight shelter has been set up by the Red Cross for people who have been displaced by the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials are hopeful that the blaze can be contained this week.
Big Sur is a popular tourist destination about 150 miles south of San Francisco, with high-end resorts and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.