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Big Sur wildfire burns 800 acres, only 20 percent contained

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The Big Sur wildfire has grown to 769 acres and is 20 percent contained reported Fox News on December 18, 2013.

The fire, known as the Pfeiffer fire, begin shortly after midnight on Monday in the Los Padres National Forest near state Highway 1.

Over 14 homes have been destroyed, including one belonging Martha Karstens, Fire Chief of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.

"The irony doesn't escape me, and again, I try to set an example for fire clearance," Karstens told reporters.

"I went out to fight a fire. I had my purse, my cell phone and my glasses, and I didn't know I was going to be trying to save my own home," she said.

Pfeiffer Ridge community residents are devastated by the loss.

“Her house was the first to go and she built it. It’s her dream,” said 30-year resident Tracey Roginson.

“Everybody there built their own homes, and they didn’t live there because they are rich, they lived there because they bought the land a long time ago…This fire is the most heartbreaking because I know all these people personally.”

Andrew Madsen, Los Padres National Forest spokesman, said the American Red Cross has set up an overnight shelter at the Fernwood Resort for those displaced from their homes.

About 830 firefighters have been fighting the fire.

No injuries have been reported.

With temperatures expected to drop to the 50s on Wednesday and Thursday, fire officials hope to fully contain the fire this week.

"We're cautiously optimistic that we're going to pin this thing down within the next couple of days," Madsen said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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