Deadly Northern California Wildfire Spreads

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (Reuters) – A deadly blaze near California’s Big Sur coast could widen to more than five times its current size and has destroyed some 60 homes, threatened hundreds of others and spurred mass evacuations, authorities said on Saturday.

The so-called Soberanes Fire, which started on July 22 and is burning just south of the oceanside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, has roared through nearly 32,000 acres (13,000 hectares) of drought-parched chaparral, grass and timber in the Los Padres National Forest.

The blaze is estimated to have a final size of 170,000 acres (265 square miles), according to California Interagency Incident Management Team 1, which is comprised of federal, state and local authorities. The cost of fighting the fire is now at about $6 million a day, it said on its Twitter feed.

The estimated final size of the blaze is roughly equivalent to the size of Singapore.

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