Publication Date July 29, 2016

Firefighters work to suppress California wildfire near Big Sur coast

United States
Firefighters prepare to embark on a mop-up operation during the Soberanes Fire in the mountains above Carmel Highlands, California, U.S. July 28, 2016. Photo: Michael Fiala

Firefighters on Friday were working to suppress a deadly wildfire near California's famed Big Sur coast that has burned more than 40 homes, forced hundreds of residents to flee and closed popular parks at the height of the summer travel season.

The so-called Soberanes Fire erupted last Friday just south of the upscale oceanside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and has raged through nearly 30,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of drought-parched chaparral, tall grass and timber into the Los Padres National Forest.

Efforts by 4,200 firefighters to hack buffer lines through dense vegetation around the perimeter of the blaze have been complicated by worsening weather conditions - super-low humidity and gradually rising temperatures - officials said.


The blaze took a deadly turn on Tuesday when a bulldozer operator hired by private property owners to help battle the flames was killed when his tractor rolled over, marking the second California wildfire fatality in a week