UPDATE: Residents are returning to their homes -- or what remains of them -- as crews continue "mopping up" the Big Sur wildfire that destroyed at least 34 homes, reportedly including that of the local fire chief. That's a dozen more than officials had originally estimated.
Designated as the Pfeiffer Fire, the blaze began around midnight of December 17th and led to evacuations along Pfeiffer Ridge Road and burned more than 900 acres in the Los Padres National Forest west of Highway 1. Authorities declared the fire fully contained on Saturday. Eventually close to 1,000 firefighters and support personnel joined the effort, according to incident commander Kevin Poyner.
Authorities said that damage assessment teams had completed "preliminary" surveys over the weekend and found little remaining of some homes. About 100 residents were displaced, at least temporarily. Poyner said the fire is still under investigation and there is "no timeline" for publicly announcing what started it.
Original post from 12/18:
BIG SUR (AP) Firefighters were expected to get some help Wednesday from the weather as they battle an unusual late fall wildfire that has destroyed more than a dozen homes and forced about 100 people to flee the scenic Big Sur region overlooking the Pacific Ocean.