Publication Date August 9, 2016

California wildfire forces closure of scenic Highway 1

United States
A firefighter stands on steep terrain while fire crews create fire breaks at Garrapata State Park during the Soberanes Fire north of Big Sur, California, U.S. July 31, 2016. Photo: Michael Fiala, Reuters

An epic wildfire that has killed one person and blackened about 60,000 acres along the California coast, forced authorities on Monday to shut down a portion of scenic Highway 1 near Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The closure of the highway, which runs along much of the Pacific coastline and is famed for its dramatic ocean views, was prompted by an increase in fire and wind activity in the Big Sur area, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

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The conflagration near Big Sur is one of 35 major wildfires that have charred half a million acres in 12 states, mostly in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho