BIG SUR, California – Firefighters have been battling a wildfire dubbed the Colorado Fire along Big Sur. As of Saturday, the wildfire has burned over 1,050 acres and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate. The main roadway, Highway 1, has been shut down for precautionary reasons.
The fire burned mainly along the rugged mountains between Carmel and Big Sur, and was reported around 7:30pm on Friday, according to Cal Fire.
Flames were fanned by strong winds and is currently 20% contained, as of 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“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 reporters 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,” Juliette said. “The fact that we had a fire this size is of great concern.”
As of Saturday morning, only one structure, a yurt, had been damaged by the fire.
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. Approximately 500 people were evacuated on Friday night.
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.