National

Dec 18, 2013 3:18 PM by David Randall

Big Sur blaze grows

BIG SUR, Calif. - A late fall wildfire that has destroyed homes in California's scenic Big Sur region is now 20 percent contained, authorities said early Wednesday.

About 100 residents have been forced to flee the fire, which has destroyed almost 800 acres of the forested region, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, since it began on Sunday.

Twenty-two buildings have been destroyed, including at least 14 homes, authorities said in an update. One of the homes destroyed belonged to Big Sur's fire chief.

No injuries have been reported.

Smoke in the area prompted the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District and the Monterey County Health Department to issue a "wildfire smoke advisory" for residents in the surrounding counties, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Mark Nunez, the incident commander of the team fighting the fire, told The Associated Press 829 firefighters had deployed to the area.

A weather front forecast to move over the area Wednesday could help firefighters - or hinder them, depending on which way the wind blows.

California's fire season traditionally peaks by mid-fall, but the drought of the last several years has given the state essentially year-round danger.

 

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