Unattended Campfire Ignites California Wildfire Near Big Sur

Unattended Campfire Ignites California Wildfire Near Big Sur

 Unattended Campfire Ignites California Wildfire Near Big Sur

A wildfire that scorched some 43,000 acres, and destroyed dozens of homes near California’s famed Big Sur coast was sparked by an illegal, unattended camp fire in a State Park, authorities said Tuesday.

The Soberanes Fire, which erupted on 22 July, began as a small blaze, 2 ft in diameter, ignited by unknown individuals in a section of Garrapata State Park that was closed to camping and campfires, according to US Forest Service spokesman Don Jaques.

No arrests have been made yet.

The more than 5,450 firefighting personnel battling the blaze have been able to draw containment lines, a measure of how much of its perimeter has been cleared by fire crews of unburned vegetation, that is just 18% of the wildfire so far.

Steep, mountainous terrain as well as hot, dry conditions have hampered efforts to quell the blaze tearing through drought-parched chaparral, grass and timber.

One person, a bulldozer operator hired by property owners to help battle the flames, died last week when his vehicle rolled over. It was the 2nd California wildfire related death in a week.

In addition, 57 homes and 11 other structures have been destroyed while some 2,000 remained under threat Tuesday, state fire officials said. About 350 residents have been ordered to evacuate the area, some evacuation orders have since been lifted.

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The threat, coming in the middle of the region’s Summer travel season, has prompted the closure of several popular California campgrounds and recreation areas along the northern end of the Big Sur coastline, including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Another fire broke out Saturday in grass and brush about 30 miles northeast of Fresno, in Central California. It has since scorched about 2,020 acres and is threatening 400 structures, prompting evacuations in the area, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Five structures, including 3 homes, have been destroyed, fire officials said. Tuesday morning, the Goose Fire was listed as 30% contained.

Remember, when traveling in fire danger zones this Summer, take extreme care, lives and property depend on it.

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