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Crews attempt to fight Big Sur wildfire as humidity remains low

Dec. 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

MONTEREY, Calif., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The wildfire in the Big Sur region of California has now burned through 769 acres and destroyed 17 homes, fire officials said.

Another 300 residents have been evacuated from their homes as fire crews from around the state battle the blaze, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported.

The fire, which broke out Sunday night, is being fueled by low humidity and warm temperatures.

Officials said they hope a rise in humidity will help them contain the fire by Friday.

Crews are now working on stopping the fire from spreading to the Sycamore Canyon Community, which is home to the Post Ranch Inn and the historic ranch, Rancho Rico, the newspaper said.

The region has experienced its driest year since 1915, with only 7.27 inches of rainfall since January, the Mercy News reported.

"It's kind of shocking. The rain total for this year is less than Big Sur usually gets in December," Larry Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said.

On Tuesday, humidity was at 20 percent, while the temperature was 70 degrees.

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