Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wildfires rage in Big Sur

To the The more than 1,000 wildfires sparked by a lightening storm in California, which have spread from the Central Coast to the Oregon state line, are now threatening historic Big Sur at the peak of tourist season, reports the Associated Press.

As of Friday, the blazes have destroyed 42 square miles of Los Padres National Forest along with 16 homes in the Big Sur area. Firefighters reported that only three percent of the wildfire is contained as they focus on protecting more than 500 homes, allowing the fire to rage unchecked in remote mountain areas.

The fire in Los Padres National Forest, south of Big Sur, was started three weeks ago, burning 92 square miles and destroying 16 structures. Seventy-one percent of that fire is reported as contained.

….The wildfires have polluted the air in the Central Valley into the San Francisco Bay area, with air quality readings ranging from two to ten times the federal standard for clean air, prompting people to remain indoors as much as possible.

Highway 1 in Big Sur, during a less incendiary time (2005). Photo by Peter Heeling, who has generously released it into the public domain via Wikimedia Commons. Thank you, Peter

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