Big Sur highway reopens, people return home

Monday, July 14th 2008, 12:31 pm
By: News 9

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Californians in the Big Sur area are getting some relief from the wildfires that have swept through the area.

A large cleanup effort is under way and most restaurants and hotels are back in business. The scenic coastal highway is open to traffic again and officials say many residents who were driven away by flames just days ago are returning to their homes.

Meanwhile, thousands of people evacuated from their homes twice during the last month have started returning to the Butte County town of Paradise for the first time since July 8th.

Still, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says 288 fires remain active around the state, most of them in the mountains on the northern edge of the Central Valley.