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Wildfire near Big Sur forces evacuations, shuts down Highway 1

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Fire crews made major progress on a wildfire burning in the rugged mountains between Carmel and Big Sur. What is being called the Colorado Fire forced hundreds of residents on the California coast to evacuate and authorities have shut down Highway 1. The Colorado Fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. in the steep Palo Colorado Canyon and Rocky Creek Road area in Monterey County on Friday, Cal Fire said. Flames were fanned by strong winds up to 50 mph. The fire has burned 1,050 acres of brush and redwoods and is 20% contained, as of 5 p.m. Saturday. Originally Cal Fire had said it was 1,500 acres, but said it was able to better map the fire as the day went on. "The fire lined up with the wind and the terrain and that gave the fire a lot of energy to make a big run," Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.Cal Fire told KCRA 3 that it is very unusual to have a fire in this area at the end of January, especially with how much rain California got in December. "It's unusual to have fire this size here on the coast at the end of January," she said. "The fact that we had a fire this size is of great concern."(Video above shows Colorado Fire burning in Monterey County)Cal Fire reported Saturday morning that only one structure, a yurt, had been damaged by the fire.About 500 people were ordered to evacuate Friday night and evacuation orders remained in place on Saturday.The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said all areas west of the 3800 block of Palo Colorado Road to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek were ordered to evacuate. The office also announced that an American Red Cross shelter will be available for those impacted by the wildfire at Carmel Middle School, located on 4380 Carmel Valley Road at Carmel-By-The-Sea.>>To see a map of evacuations, click here. <<The fire is in an area difficult to access for crews, Cal Fire said. It is burning west toward Highway 1, which is closed in both directions from near the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur to Granite Canyon Bridge.There are 13 different agencies, including 120 personnel fighting the fire from both the ground and the air, Cal Fire said. Crews are working to protect threatened structures.Photos taken in Santa Cruz show a bright, red glow from the fire. For context, Santa Cruz is on the opposite side of the Monterey Bay where the fire is burning.The cause of the fire is under investigation. This is a developing story. Stay with KCRA 3 for the latest.-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. —

Fire crews made major progress on a wildfire burning in the rugged mountains between Carmel and Big Sur. What is being called the Colorado Fire forced hundreds of residents on the California coast to evacuate and authorities have shut down Highway 1.

The Colorado Fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. in the steep Palo Colorado Canyon and Rocky Creek Road area in Monterey County on Friday, Cal Fire said.

Flames were fanned by strong winds up to 50 mph. The fire has burned 1,050 acres of brush and redwoods and is 20% contained, as of 5 p.m. Saturday. Originally Cal Fire had said it was 1,500 acres, but said it was able to better map the fire as the day went on.

"The fire lined up with the wind and the terrain and that gave the fire a lot of energy to make a big run," Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Cal Fire told KCRA 3 that it is very unusual to have a fire in this area at the end of January, especially with how much rain California got in December.

"It's unusual to have fire this size here on the coast at the end of January," she said. "The fact that we had a fire this size is of great concern."

(Video above shows Colorado Fire burning in Monterey County)

Cal Fire reported Saturday morning that only one structure, a yurt, had been damaged by the fire.

About 500 people were ordered to evacuate Friday night and evacuation orders remained in place on Saturday.

The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said all areas west of the 3800 block of Palo Colorado Road to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek were ordered to evacuate. The office also announced that an American Red Cross shelter will be available for those impacted by the wildfire at Carmel Middle School, located on 4380 Carmel Valley Road at Carmel-By-The-Sea.

>>To see a map of evacuations, click here. <<

The fire is in an area difficult to access for crews, Cal Fire said. It is burning west toward Highway 1, which is closed in both directions from near the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur to Granite Canyon Bridge.

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UPDATE: Highway 1 is now closed in both directions from near the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur to Rio Road in Carmel due to a brush fire. Please drive safely and be aware of all emergency responders.@PIOJimShivers

Quickmap@dot.ca.gov https://t.co/S41J1xyZ1R

— Caltrans District 5 (@CaltransD5) January 22, 2022

There are 13 different agencies, including 120 personnel fighting the fire from both the ground and the air, Cal Fire said. Crews are working to protect threatened structures.

Photos taken in Santa Cruz show a bright, red glow from the fire. For context, Santa Cruz is on the opposite side of the Monterey Bay where the fire is burning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This is a developing story. Stay with KCRA 3 for the latest.

-

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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