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Big Sur wildfire was started by 'unattended camp fire'

A firefighter sprays water on the flames. Credit: Reuters

A huge California wildfire that has scorched around 43,000 acres, destroyed dozens of homes and left one person dead was started by an illegal, unattended camp fire, authorities have said.

The so-called Soberanes Fire, which erupted on July 22 on the US state's famed Big Sur coast, was sparked in a section of Garrapata State Park.

US Forest Service spokesman Don Jaques said no arrests have been made at this stage.

More than 5,450 people have been battling the blaze and 2,000 homes remain under threat.

One person, a bulldozer operator hired by property owners to help battle the flames, died last week when his vehicle rolled over.

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