Wildfire in Big Sur Closes Part of California’s Highway 1 and Forces Evacuations

A fire burning in California shut down part of Highway 1 and forced evacuations. As of Saturday morning, it had grown to 1,500 acres, and was 5% contained, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze — called the Colorado Fire — began around 7:30 p.m. Friday near Palo Colorado Road in Big Sur, where it “remained stubbornly active overnight,” according to the National Weather Service. The weather agency said the fire began when offshore winds were gusting and there was very low humidity. On Saturday morning, wind gusts in Northern California approached 100 miles per hour in certain areas, prompting the NWS to issue wind advisories.

The California Highway Patrol closed Highway 1 at Rio Road just outside of Carmel-by-the-Sea due to the fire and there is no estimated time for reopening, officials said Saturday morning. From south of the fire, Highway 1 was closed at Andrew Molera State Park, just north of Big Sur.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter late Friday evening for some residents who received mandatory evacuation orders due to the fire, CBS SF Bay Area reports. The emergency shelter for residents of the Palo Colorado area of Monterey County opened at 11:30 p.m. at Carmel Middle School.

Smoke from the fire is forecast to head towards the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas, according to the NWS. Residents and firefighters in the area are urged to monitor light southward winds that could change the track of the fire’s spread.

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Source: CBS