California Firefighters Hike to Remote Area to Fight Wildfire

Wildfire threatened a Buddhist monastery

 

 

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that forced the evacuation of a campground and Buddhist retreat center has burned more than 3.2 square miles (8.3 square km) of dry brush in inaccessible terrain on California’s central coast, officials said Sunday.

There’s zero containment of the blaze in the Los Padres National Forest, about 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Big Sur, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The fire broke out Thursday evening and burned east toward the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Buddhist monastery located in a remote valley. However, no buildings burned.

The center was evacuated along with the nearby Arroyo Seco Campground.

The steep, remote area meant that more than 450 firefighters had to hike in to battle the flames, officials said. They’re aided by water-dropping aircraft.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire sent up a plume of smoke that drifted east Sunday toward the Salinas Valley.

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