51,000-Acre Wildfire Near Big Sur Spreads Into Area of 2008 Blaze

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Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant tweeted this photo of the Soberanes Fire on July 29, 2016.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant tweeted this photo of the Soberanes Fire on July 29, 2016.

A deadly wildfire burning along the Central Coast grew overnight to 51,000 acres, spreading into an area scorched in 2008 by one of the state’s largest blazes.

Sparked by an illegal campfire, the stubborn Soberanes Fire has been burning for nearly two weeks in Monterey County in steep, rugged wilderness.  Dry conditions have been fueling the massive blaze, which has remained active at night. The jagged mountains, coupled with unpredictable flames, have made the firefight difficult and allowed the fire to grow rapidly, fire officials said.

With containment at only 27 percent, the wildfire is “now burning into the footprint of the 2008 Basin Complex” fire, according to the National Weather Service. Described as one of California’s largest fires in state history, the lightning-sparked blaze scorched 162,818 acres throughout the Big Sur coastline in June 2008 and destroyed 58 structures.

Although the latest wildfire is nowhere near the size of the Basin Complex fire, the Soberanes blaze is just as destructive. So far, flames have torn through 57 homes and 11 outbuildings. The fire also claimed the life of bulldozer operator Robert Reagan III, who died while helping battle the blaze.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com. 

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