Big Sur Evacuated as Fires Rage

680 square miles scorched by wildfires
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 3:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – California residents have been ordered to evacuate the coastal resort Big Sur as wildfires rage in the hills above the town, USA Today reports. Ash rained on people as they packed cars before fleeing to safety. The Big Sur blaze is one of more than 1,100 wildfires in the state, mostly ignited by lightning, that have charred 680 square miles and destroyed 60 homes.

"The fire is just a big raging animal right now," said a spokesman for the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged residents to heed evacuation orders. "It's tough to move out of your home—but do it," he said.