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Big Sur residents use fire blog

BIG SUR — Tired of waiting for timely, detailed information about the fires threatening their homes, some residents of this scenic coastal community are using the Web to publish firsthand reports from behind the fire lines.

Bloggers Stan Russell, Steve Harper and other Big Sur residents are communicating through the smoke and shifting hot spots on Surfire2008.org. The site has become a way for residents to dispel rumors and glean information left out of official government statements.

Russell has taken refuge at the Post Ranch Inn, where he has a good view of the wildfire that has so far charred more than 71,000 acres and destroyed 22 homes.



Harper lives in a more rural area affected by the fire. The psychologist and instructor the Esalen Institute powers his wireless Internet router with a home generator that uses high-speed access provided by the volunteer-run Big Sur Wireless.

Harper and Russell have defied evacuation orders and are helping fellow residents stay on top of rumors about looting while providing fire updates.




The bloggers also regularly post official U.S. Forest Service updates and volunteer opportunities.

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On the Net: http://www.surfire2008.org.

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Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com


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