Temps rise as Big Sur fire rages on

July 5, 2008 6:55:06 PM PDT
At least 330 fires are burning around the state today and the Big Sur fire is still one of the largest. Right now, crews are trying to make progress on the fire lines before the temperatures really start to soar.

The wind is what the firefighters have their eye on and drier winds could pose a major concern. The village of Big Sur sits and waits. Normally it's a huge weekend for these businesses, but now it's just an occasional firefighter popping and there's no word on when things will return to normal.

A trip along Highway 1 around Big Sur has some much different scenery, with firefighters posted along a makeshift line.

"Make sure it's not going to cross Highway 1. That is the boundary line we don't want it to come west of," says incident commander Mark Savage.

The fire is only 5 percent contained and 1800 buildings are threatened and some of the crews are leaving their posts.

After two weeks on battle, many are required to take a two daybreak while others are being rerouted to other fires.

"With the fire all along California, its not like we have a frash pile of crews somewhere. We just have to get the crews that have been here a break and if they come back after two days, that's the case," says Savage.

There is no break for people like Tom Birmingham, whose family owns the famed Nepenthe restaurant.

"Nobody wants to be a hero in this situation. We all think that we have a role to play here and keep an eye on hot spots," says Tom.

On what is normally the biggest weekend of the year for Big Sur businesses, the stock of food is sitting idle, while other Big Sur residents are running out of food.

"We could get them all a week s worth of groceries real quick, of course, were not allowed to leave the property because the road is shut down," says Tom.

No word on how long the roads will be shut down. This wildfire isn't expected to be contained until the end of the month.

"We don't have the resources we want and there isn't a fire in the state that has the resources they want. It's certainly starting fire season with an abundance of need and its putting, what a very good system we have to the test," says Savage.

Firefighters have set back fires overnight to protect some of the buildings and with Highway 1 as a sturdy fire line. Firefighters are saying, so far, so good.

Send us your photos
If you have pictures of this fire or any other fire burning in the Bay Area, we want to hear from you. Send them to photos@kgo-tv.com and we'll feature them on-air and online.

MORE: ABC7's Bay Area wildfire resource guide and safety tips
MAP: Google Reference Map of California Fires
(From the Governor's Office of Emergency Services).


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