State parks along the California’s famed Big Sur coastline were closed Tuesday as one of the state’s two major wildfires threatened the scenic region at the height of the summer tourism season.
The Big Sur fire threatened a long stretch of forested mountains that hug the coast and sent smoke billowing over Pacific Coast Highway.
The Big Sur closures were put into place for parks that draw 7,500 visitors daily from around the world. Campgrounds were closed due to smoke dangers.
The park shutdowns came as a fire that started Friday just north of Big Sur grew to 36 square miles by Tuesday. It was 10 percent contained, and 20 homes have burned in the area while residents of 300 more homes were ordered to evacuate.
In Southern California, a fire in the wilderness between the northern edge of Los Angeles and Santa Clarita grew to 59 square miles, however containment grew to 25 percent.
Acting Gov. Tom Torlakson, substituting for Gov. Jerry Brown who is at the Democratic National Convention with other top state officials, declared a state of emergency for both fires on Tuesday night.
- Containment on Massive California Wildfire Increases
- California Wildfires Gut Homes, Force Evacuations
- Wildfire Threat in California, Southwest High in July
- California Wildfire Grows, Fires Threaten Communities around West
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