Image: Tanker drops fire redardant
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — California's wildfires blazed across the state on Friday, with an army of firefighters desperately trying to staunch the flames as they edged towards populated regions.
State officials said 19,925 personnel were battling 60 active fires, which were among 1,800 blazes which have scorched nearly 521,000 acres (210,800 hectares) since being triggered by lightning a fortnight ago.
The focal point of containment efforts is a wind-driven blaze besieging the picturesque village of Big Sur, a normally bustling tourist haven around 120 miles (193 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
The blaze threatening the town has swept through 65,393 acres of the Los Padres National Forest and was only five percent contained according to latest figures on Friday.
With a combination high temperatures, low humidity and offshore gusts fanning the fires, officials have said they are battling against a "perfect storm" of weather conditions.