It would have been a scenic setting for a community meeting at Tularcitos Elementary School, if not for all the dark smoke from the Soberanes Fire.
"That smoke looks like it's at my house. It's scaring me. I'm going to get ready tonight. I haven't seen smoke like that until today," new resident Kristin Quilty said. "We actually just bought our house three weeks ago and just unpacked, so I guess we can get packed rather quickly."
"Right now everybody should be ready, and when we get you those warnings, get set because you gotta be ready to go," Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal said.
That message was given in a meeting Monday night that was overflowing with concerned residents.
"The fire is a couple of ridges over and slowly working this way,” Cal Fire public information officer Hugo Patino said. “It's important to recognize is that the wind does blow this way. Crews are working very hard to try to put a line around the fire to prevent it from getting here."
Many are already prepared for that evacuation order to come.
"That's it, and (we will) take our dog first. Put the dog in; everything else is in the car, so we are ready to go,” Carmel Valley resident Robert McFarland said.
McFarland has been through fires before and is only taking the essentials.
"Photographs. We put our computer information in files there. We have pictures, things of that nature."
But some needed to hear the message from the firefighters.
"Well... I wasn't until tonight, I mean, till now," said resident Brandon Wiggins. “That is very scary looking. We have been yellow-tagged. There are firemen camping on our street, there are firemen camped out down below us. At first it was a little unnerving, but it’s better that they are there.”
Residents also asked about car week scheduled for later this month. The California Highway Patrol said depending on where the fire goes, they'll coordinate with other agencies and then make plans.