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California Wildfires Blaze On as Evacuations Continue

  • VOA News

The remains of a staircase destroyed at a hilltop home is viewed in Big Sur, California, July 29, 2016.

The remains of a staircase destroyed at a hilltop home is viewed in Big Sur, California, July 29, 2016.

Crews continued to battle a massive wildfire near California’s Big Sur area that is threatening thousands of homes and has forced hundreds of evacuations.

While cooler weather gave firefighters a break as they battled a 10-day-old blaze on the coast, a newer fire northeast of Fresno damaged some of the 400 homes that were evacuated just outside the Sierra National Forest.

The combination of steep, mountainous landscape and extremely hot, dry conditions have hampered efforts to quell the so-called Soberanes Fire, which erupted on July 22 just south of the picturesque oceanside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Smoke from a wildfire spreads over woods, as seen from White Rock in Carmel Valley, southeast of Monterey, Calif., Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

Smoke from a wildfire spreads over woods, as seen from White Rock in Carmel Valley, southeast of Monterey, Calif., Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has already destroyed 57 homes and 11 outbuildings. It has grown to more than 160 square kilometers, about the size of the city of San Francisco.

On the outskirts of Los Angeles, firefighters have nearly surrounded a 168-square-kilometer blaze that killed one man and destroyed 18 homes. The fire was 93 percent contained Sunday, 10 days after it broke out.

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