A pair of out-of-control wildfires roared along California's central coast Friday, chewing through opposite ends of a parched forest and threatening more than 4,500 homes.
Big Sur: Flames from a stubborn fire in the northern flank of the Los Padres National Forest inched closer to Big Sur's historic vacation retreats Friday. Big Sur remained eerily empty under a thick blanket of fog and smoke at the start of the long holiday weekend. No more properties were lost since Thursday, but the density of the parched terrain allowed the 13-day-old wildfire to keep advancing on the storied tourist town, where flames made their way toward the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and sent forest creatures running toward the Pacific Ocean for cover.
100 square miles consumed; 20 homes destroyed Santa Barbara County: Hot winds as high as 40 mph caused a newer blaze in and around the city of Goleta to double in size overnight. Labeled the Gap fire, it was so fierce early Friday that firefighters at one point took shelter in about 70 homes they were trying to defend, said Capt. Eli Iskow of the county Fire Department. "Hundreds of firefighters were in place around hundreds of structures," Iskow said. "I think we saved every one of those structures in that area."
15 percent contained; a half-dozen outbuildings destroyed and more than 10 square miles consumed