Big Sur fire destroys fire chief's home

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Updated: 12/17/2013 10:49 pm

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters are making gains against an unusual fall wildfire that has destroyed 15 homes and forced about 100 people to flee the forested mountains of California's scenic Big Sur region overlooking the Pacific.

Among homes destroyed was that of Big Sur Fire Chief Martha Karstens. She tearfully told reporters Monday night that the loss of her home of 23 years had not yet sunk in.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire in Los Padres National Forest near state Highway 1 grew by only 50 acres overnight to 550 acres, and was 5 percent contained.

Additional firefighters were brought in, bringing the total force to about 400. The fire is also being fought from the air.

The fire began Sunday near midnight, fueled by dry vegetation and fanned by winds.

 

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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