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8 hikers rescued after being trapped five days in California wildfire

MONTEREY, California -- For at least five days, eight hikers were stranded in a forest inside the Soberanes wildfire south of San Francisco, which has been raging out of control since Friday.

Fire officials and sheriff's deputies spent several hours searching for the group before rescuing near the fire lines, reports CBS San Francisco.

Their identities and the extent of their injuries is not clear.

The massive fire that trapped the group has already eaten up some 20,000 acres and could have taken the lives of eight men if not for Calfire and Monterey Country sheriff's deputies and search and rescue crews.

California's signature parks along the Big Sur coastline that draw thousands of daily visitors were closed Tuesday as a result of the blaze. It is one of the state's two major wildfires threatening scenic regions at the height of the summer tourism season.

To the south, firefighters have made progress containing a huge, deadly blaze in mountains outside Los Angeles, allowing authorities to let most of 20,000 people evacuated over the weekend to return home.

In the blaze near San Francisco, at least 20 homes have burned in the zone, residents of 300 more have been ordered to evacuate and more than 2,000 firefighters were trying to douse the blaze.

Air quality in San Francisco, already bad because of an enduring heat wave and smog, is expected to be poor for at least a week, officials say.

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