Hotter weather expected near blaze that killed 1

Published 10:18 am Thursday, July 28, 2016

BIG SUR, Calif. — California crews contended with hotter temperatures and lower humidity Thursday near scenic Big Sur where a wildfire has destroyed 34 homes and killed a bulldozer driver working to contain the massive blaze.

More than 3,000 firefighters working around the clock got a break from cooler conditions a day earlier, but forecasters said the rest of the week would bring weather in the upper 80s.

Another 10 outbuildings were gutted by the blaze that has charred 37 square miles (93 sq. kilometers) of dry brush. The fire in Monterey County was just 10 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Email newsletter signup

Eight men who had been working on a marijuana field were rescued near the fire lines Tuesday after spending days wandering smoky trails with little water or food. No serious injuries were reported, sheriff’s spokesman John Thornburg told the Monterey Herald. Authorities initially said the men had been hiking in the area.

The operator of a bulldozer was killed when it rolled over during the firefight. Another operator escaped injury when a second bulldozer rolled over and sustained minor damage, according to Cal Fire.

Battalion Chief Robert Fish said the operator was working in steep and difficult-to-access terrain when the accident occurred Tuesday. Fish did not have further details about the incident or the operator but said 60 bulldozers were being used.