California wildfire destroys homes and forces residents to evacuate

Posted at: 12/16/2013 10:10 PM

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) - At least 15 homes have been destroyed and about 100 people have been forced to evacuate as a wildfire burns in the Big Sur area of California, a popular tourist destination along the state's central coast. No injuries were reported.

Los Padres National Forest spokesman Andrew Madsen says the fire broke out early Monday near Pfeiffer Ridge Road and state Highway 1, about 1.4 miles from the Ventana Inn. He says it has burned about 500 acres by late afternoon.

Madsen says the fire destroyed the home of Big Sur Fire Chief Martha Karstens. Officials were hopeful that they could contain it within the next couple of days.

Madsen says the Red Cross has set up an overnight shelter for people who have been displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.