- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

At least 100 homeowners in the Big Sur, Calif., region were sent packing on Tuesday, as wildfires swept the area and destroyed 15 or so homes — including that of the firefighting chief of the local force.

So far, nobody’s been reported injured, The Associated Press reported. But even firefighters aren’t immune to the disaster. Los Padres National Forest spokesman Andrew Madsen said the home of Big Sur Fire Chief Martha Karstens was one of the residences that was destroyed.

“She left thinking that she was going to go protect other people’s homes,” Mr. Madsen said, in the AP report, “and it turns out that her own home has been consumed.”

The wildfire broke out Monday and swept through large swaths of dry vegetation, headed toward the ocean. It’s burned through about 500 acres in the Pfeiffer Ridge area of the Los Padres forest — and not a bit has yet been contained, fire officials said.

“This is a completely wind-driven fire,” Mr. Madsen said, in the AP report. “We’re cautiously optimistic that we’re going to pin this thing down within the next couple of days.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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