California coastline wildfire is big and getting bigger

CNS News | 7/29/2016 | Staff
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BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire burning along California's Big Sur coastline keeps growing a week after it broke out, and looks to be a problem for the scenic region for weeks to come.

Anxious residents driven from their homes awaited word on their properties and popular parks and trails closed at the height of tourist season because of the blaze, one of several large fires burning across western states. As of Thursday, the blaze spanned 42 square miles (109 square kilometers) and was only 10 percent contained.

California - Department - Forestry - Fire - Protection

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated it will take until the end of August to extinguish it.

"Every day the fire is gaining ground on us," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Robert Fish said.

Homes - Homes - Buildings - Risk

It has destroyed at least 34 homes and put at least 2,000 homes and other buildings at risk.

A 35-year-old father of two girls was killed this week when the bulldozer he was operating rolled over on the fire lines.

Thursday - Robert - Reagan - Father - Daughters

On Thursday he was identified as Robert Reagan, a 35-year-old father of two daughters from Fresno County who also helps care for a young niece, according to his sister Hannah Cunnings.

Cunnings said he was the kind of person who would offer to put snow chains on a neighbor's car or fix an engine that needed repair.

Boy - People

"Even since he was a boy, he just really wanted to help people," she said, crying.

Firefighters worked in rugged terrain near State Highway 1 in an area that draws tourists from around the world for the dramatic vistas of ocean and mountains. The famous roadway remained open, but smoke and the threat of flames forced the closure of state parks near Big Sur, a big economic driver for the region.

Tom - Donna - Huntington - Years - Community

Tom and Donna Huntington, both 65, have lived for 29 years in the community of...
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