Image: Plane drops fire retardant
Rich Phelps  /  USFS
A DC-10 drops fire retardant on part of the fire in the Los Padres National Forest.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 9/30/2008 11:59:26 AM ET 2008-09-30T15:59:26

A wildfire in the Los Padres National Forest has nearly doubled in size and prompted the evacuation of a few homes in the remote region.

The U.S. Forest Service says more than 830 firefighters are battling the blaze that broke out Saturday night in Monterey County, along the California coast about 150 miles south of San Francisco.

Aided by hot weather and dense brush, the fire grew from 925 acres Monday morning to more than 1,700 acres by nightfall. It was only 5 percent contained.

The fire's growth potential was described by the Forest Service as "high" and the terrain as "extreme," making it difficult for crews building nine miles of fireline to try to contain the blaze.

The Forest Service noted that a "large volume of dead and down material" has helped fuel the fire, adding that the area had no prior recorded history of fire.

Nearby Highway 1 was open, but two other roads were closed due to the fire.

Crews were hoping to get a break from the weather, which forecasters said should improve later Tuesday and during the week.

No structures have been lost so far, but about seven homes and a commercial building were subject to the evacuation order issued by the Monterey County Sheriff's Department.

The cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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