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10:54 am
Wed July 9, 2008

Evacuees Return to Big Sur

Big Sur – All mandatory evacuation orders for the Basin Complex Fire have been downgraded to advisories. Evacuees from the Big Sur Valley were allowed to return on Tuesday morning. Evacuee Laurie Mayer was surprised by what she saw. "I thought it would be pitch black burnt everywhere, so I guess I'm surprised that it's not worse, even though it is bad. But there's still some Big Sur here," said Mayer.

All along Highway 1 in the Big Sur Valley, ash and blackened hillsides mark how close the Basin Complex Fire got to the road. The businesses and homes near the highway appear relatively unscathed. But up the roads on the east of the highway, it's a different story. The fire destroyed 23 homes and 25 outbuildings around Partington Ridge, Apple Pie Ridge and North Coast Ridge.

Wednesday morning, the mandatory evacuation order for residents between Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and the town of Lucia changed to an advisory. This opened up all of Highway 1 to residents only.