Big Sur Wildfire Scorches 500 Acres

At least 15 homes were destroyed and 100 people were forced to flee the fire in central California

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Michael Fiala / Reuters

Thick smoke from wildfires in Big Sur, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2013.

A wildfire in Big Sur, California burned through more than 500 acres on Monday, forcing at least 100 people to flee its path.

The fire, which burned through dry vegetation as it made its way toward the ocean, destroyed at least 15 homes–including the home of the Big Sur fire chief. Winds fanned the flames in the popular tourist and high-end resort area that saddles up to the Pacific coast 150 miles south of San Francisco.

More than 600 firefighters were working to contain the blaze, aided by aerial tankers and helicopters. Officials were hoping to have the fire contained within a couple of days. According to the AP, Highway 1, the scenic route that snakes up the California coast, is open, but traffic is heavier because of emergency vehicles. Evacuations were still in effect on Monday night.