BIG SUR, Calif. -

The Pfeiffer Fire is hitting too close to home for some firefighters battling the flames.  Firefighters said more than a dozen families are without a home Monday night, including one woman who's an expert at battling wildfires.

"I just haven't absorbed it all yet.  I walked out the door to what I thought was a fire somewhere else and there were ashes and sparks going right by my front door," said Martha Kartens, chief of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Karstens held back tears as she described the moment these flames from the Pfeiffer Fire took over her house.  She's the lead firefighter for the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and said it's heartbreaking to see the forest and the people who live there, suffer.  Karstens said this part of Big Sur hasn't burned in more than 100 years.

"It'll be one of those big fires when it happens and we hoped not in our lifetime, but here it is," Karstens said.

More than 100 people have been evacuated from the affected area.  The American Red Cross said it's providing water and food for those people in need.  And even though her home of 23 years is destroyed, she's just grateful for the effort her fellow firefighters made to save it from burning down.

"They just did such a great job and literally they just busted their butts trying to save my home and many others up there," Karstens said.

The American Red Cross said the evacuation center will be at Fernwood Resort on Tuesday from10 a.m. - 7 p.m. or anyone who needs assistance.