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Wildfire Near Big Sur Destroys 57 Homes

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

A firefighter battles a wildfire near Placerita Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, Calif., Sunday, July 24, 2016. Thousands of homes remained evacuated Sunday as two massive wildfires raged in tinder-dry California hills and canyons.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP


UPDATE July 31, 9 a.m.: (AP) — Fire officials say a wildfire burning near California's dramaticBig Sur coast has destroyed 57 homes and is threatening 2,000 more.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Saturday that the blaze has grown to 38,007 acres.

The blaze a few miles north of Big Sur has also killed a bulldozer operator working the fire line.

More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the week-old wildfire that officials expect to linger until the end of August.

Officials say flames are concentrated in forested ridges above the summer fog line along the coast. Many patches of fire were in areas too steep to be reached.

(AP) — A week-old wildfire along California's dramatic Big Sur coast is expected to burn until the end of August, the peak time for tourists to pass through the region.

As of Saturday, some evacuation orders and road closures have been lifted. The Soberanes Fire is now 33,668 acres and is 15 percent contained.

Evacuation orders lifted: Riley Ranch Road and Red Wolf Drive, Corona Road and all of Carmel Highland. 

Road Closure/Restrictions lifted: Riley Ranch Road at SR Highway 1, Corona Road

Lodge managers and cafe owners say they are worried and all state parks in the fire area remain closed.  Business owners say they'll likely be looking at a summer of cancelled bookings. Fire officials say crews continue to battle the blaze raging in steep ridges just to the north.

Stan Russell, executive director of the chamber of commerce, said Big Sur establishments were already reporting as much as a 50 percent drop in business.

One person has died and 41 homes have burned.