Daily US Times: Firefighters are battling to contain a wildfire that erupted near Big Sur last week, as fire continues to engulf the dry California landscape and threaten historical sites, ranches and cabins.
The fire is one of dozens of wildfires burning in dry and hot conditions across the US west, including in Arizona and New Mexico.
In Monterey county, the so-called Willow fire has burned more than 2,400 acres since the fire broke out on Thursday evening. More that 400 firefighters face the difficult task of trying to contain the large forest fire in the rugged coastal mountains south of Big Sur.
As of Monday morning, the blaze remained at 0% containment and forced the evacuation of a Buddhist monastery and nearby campground.
The area also contains cultural sites and home to endangered species that could be at risk if the fire continues to grow, and the Los Padres national forest resource advisors have brought in botanists, biologists and Chumash tribal members to aid in protecting sensitive areas.
Amanda Munsey, a public information officer with California interagency incident management team 11, said: “We have to take our time accessing these areas because we can’t get the equipment in there. Weather is also a big factor,” she adds, “and it has been very hot for a number of days – and very dry.”
Hundreds of residents have been ordered to evacuate the mountainous area, including most of those at the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center, a historic Zen Buddhist monastery.
Some monks who are part of a trained fire crew stayed behind to help in the firefight.
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