The major Soberanes fire, that burned for almost three months and was fought by hundreds of firefighters, was finally contained this week, according to the US Forest Service. The authorities reported it was caused by an illegal campfire and was, at the cost of at least $229 million, one of the most expensive wildfires in the US history.
The wildfire, fueled by the drought, affected the Soberanes Creek, Garrapata State Park, Palo Colorado north of Big Sur in the Monterey County, California, and lasted from July 22 to October 13, 2016. According to the Cal Fire, it burned down 53 470 hectares (132 127 acres), which is the size four times larger than San Francisco.
The authorities reported that despite the containment, some areas may continue smoking, and there is still a possibility of small-scale flames. However, no significant growth in the fire strength is expected. The Monterey Ranger District, in the Los Padres National Forest, and Ventana and Silver Peak areas are still closed to the public.
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“What ultimately creates containment lines is boots on the ground. … We have essentially a giant campfire that will not be penetrated completely by air resources,” said Steve Kliest, a spokesman for the Soberanes fire response.
The fire devastated over 50 homes along the Palo Colorado Canyon and in the Carmel Highlands. It was spread in extremely unreachable terrain while burning in the steep, rocky ridges.
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