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Big Sur wildfire grows slightly; crews hope for weather assist

Crews fighting a wildfire in Big Sur hoped to seize on improving weather conditions to gain an upper hand on the largely uncontrolled blaze.

The Pfeiffer fire, so named because it started in the area of Pfeiffer Ridge in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest, had grown only slightly overnight Monday to 550 acres, but it was only 5% contained, officials said.

PHOTOS: Big Sur fire rages uncontrolled

As of Tuesday, about 100 people had been forced to evacuate near state Highway 1 after the blaze destroyed at least 15 homes, including one that belonged to Big Sur Fire Chief Martha Karstens.

Manuel Madrigal, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman stationed at the fire, said the flames are still burning in steep terrain with a lot of brush.

"Still pretty active," Madrigal said. "We're hoping for the best."

Humidity levels had increased on Tuesday and winds were beginning to die down in the afternoon, giving crews an opportunity to gain ground on the blaze.

Residences in the Pfeiffer Ridge community remained evacuated, according to the Forest Service, and several road closures were in place.


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