A large wildfire that swept through Big Sur in California this week is well on its way to being fully contained by Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The fire has already destroyed 22 structures and scorched almost 800 acres of land. As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire was only 20 percent contained, but by the end of the day, that statistic had risen to 74 percent.
The Pfeiffer Fire, as it's also known, has claimed 14 homes since it began on Monday. Officials still have not determined the cause, but more than 1,000 firefighters as well as four water-dropping helicopters were dispatched to help quell the blaze.
Courageous Big Sur FireBrigade Chief Martha Karstens lost home in fire but still leads her community thru hard times pic.twitter.com/SFVdqpuOf2— Asm. Luis Alejo (@AsmLuisAlejo) December 18, 2013
As Mother Jones points out, seven out of the state's ten largest fires have occurred after 2000, and California's wildfire season ends October 31. While not particularly devastating relative to other fires, the Pfeiffer fire is a signal of the lengthening of wildfire season, from 5 months in the 1970s to more than seven now.