Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wildfire forces evacuation of California's Big Sur

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Authorities in California ordered residents to evacuate the scenic Big Sur coastal area on Wednesday to allow firefighters sole use of narrow roads to battle a stubborn wildfire in the steep terrain.

"The firefighters need to move their equipment there," said Maia Carroll, a spokeswoman for Monterey County. "We can't have residents going down and fire equipment going up at the same time."

The evacuation order for some 850 residents and the area's inns and campgrounds followed the blaze jumping a defence line, which required crews to rush equipment to the scene, Carroll said.

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