By Robert J. Lopez
8:55 PM PST, December 18, 2013
A brush fire that has scorched more than 800 acres in the Big Sur area was 74% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday night.
Ground crews made good progress containing the Pfeiffer fire and were hopeful that a cold storm system moving over the Monterey County area Wednesday night would further aid efforts to combat the fire, officials said.
More than 1,000 firefighters were assigned to battle the blaze, which broke out Monday in the vicinity of Pfeiffer Ridge in the Los Padres National Forest. Earlier Wednesday, firefighters on the ground were aided by four water-dropping helicopters, the Forest Service said.
The blaze has destroyed at least 22 structures. Fourteen of those were homes, including the one belonging to Martha Karstens, chief of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade.
"Her house was the first to go and she built it. It's her dream," said Tracey Roginson, 58, a 30-year resident of the area.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.ALSO:
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