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Published on Jul 3, 2008
PlusHigh Fire Danger in Big Sur, Evacuations OrderedHigh Fire Danger in Big Sur, Evacuations OrderedThe Associated PressAn explosive wildfire is ravaging the hillsides above Big Sur, California, leaving the popular tourist region mostly deserted ahead of the holiday weekend. (July 3)(Big Sur, CA)(firefighter nats)THE ONLY PEOPLE LEFT IN BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA ARE FIREFIGHTERS AS AN EXPLOSIVE WILDFIRE HAS NOW CAUSED THE ENTIRE COASTAL TOWN TO BE EVACUATED.John Friel, Evacuee, says: "Everybody's in shock. Talk about shock and awe? We're experiencing it."EVEN THE WILDLIFE HERE APPEARED TO BE SHOCKED FROM THE FIRE, WHICH HAS NOW BURNED MORE THAN 20 HOMES AND NEARLY 90 SQUARE MILES OF LAND. (walky talky nats)MORE THAN 30 MILES OF COASTAL HIGHWAY IS NOW CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.(firetruck nats)A STATEWIDE DROUGHT HAS CREATED TINDER-LIKE TREE AND BRUSH, FEEDING THE FLAMES. THE BIG SUR BLAZE IS ONE OF HUNDREDS OF WILDFIRES BURNING ACROSS CALIFORNIA. Greg DeNitto, Fire Information Officer, says: "This is a significant one and it will be stubborn as far as controlling it. No one here is anticipating it being controlled in the near future."MEANWHILE THE 800 OR SO EVACUATED RESIDENTS HERE ARE LEANING ON THE RED CROSS AND EACH OTHER FOR HELP.John Friel, Evacuee, says: "The reason I moved to Big Sur was for this kind of lifestyle where people help each other. It's not communal. It's community." THE BIG SUR FIRE REMAINS ONLY THREE PERCENT CONTAINED. HAVEN DALEY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.