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UPDATE: Evacuation orders lifted, Highway 1 reopened

A helicopter flies to the fire after refilling with water from the Pacific Ocean
Jerimiah Oetting
A helicopter flies to the fire after refilling with water from the Pacific Ocean.

Follow along for updates on the Colorado Fire that is burning in Big Sur.

UPDATE 1/28/22 11:30 a.m.
Cal Fire is reporting the Colorado fire is 75% contained as of shortly after 7 a.m.

Continue to monitor Cal Fire's Colorado Fire incident page for the latest updates.

UPDATE 1/26/22 12:30 p.m.
The evacuation order for areas affected by the Colorado Fire in Big Sur has been lifted. Highway 1 and all other roads in the area are now fully reopened.

Cal Fire is urging residents to drive carefully as emergency vehicles and personnel are still working in the area.

UPDATE 1/26/22 9:30 a.m.

Colorado Fire Update
As firefighters gain ground on the Colorado Fire, we zoom out to look at the big picture of this fire's timing. Brian Garcia, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, discusses weather conditions and climate change.
Smoke from the Colorado Fire in Big Sur billows into the sky on Monday.

The fire is 55% contained as of 7:52 a.m. this morning. Favorable weather is forecasted for the day.

UPDATE 1/25/22 5:45 p.m.

Cal Fire investigators announced the cause of the fire Tuesday evening. They determined it was a pile burn. High winds blew the embers into nearby vegetation.

UPDATE 1/25/22 8:00 a.m.

Colorado Fire Update
An update from KAZU's Erika Mahoney, who reported from the fire line on Monday.
CalFire Helicopter

UPDATE 1/24/22 2:30 p.m.
Wind gusts continue to drive the fire, although favorable weather conditions are in the forecast this week, according to a Cal Fire spokesperson.

Inspection teams are on the ground surveying for damaged property. There is one confirmed structure damaged due to the fire so far.

UPDATE 1/24/22 12:00 p.m.

Colorado Fire update
KAZU News update on the Colorado fire for Monday, January 24th
Thick smoke along Highway 1 in Big Sur.

Monterey County issued a boil water notice Sunday evening for the evacuated zone. The order does not include Cal Am customers.

Increased humidity Monday morning is helping firefighters fight back the blaze, although the latest information maintains the fire is 35% contained at 700 acres.

The evacuation center at Carmel Middle School is closed. Evacuees are encouraged to call 2-1-1 for information on other temporary housing options, including hotels.

Highway 1 is still closed between Granite Creek Bridge and Andrew Molera State Park.

UPDATE 1/23/22 8:10 p.m.

The fire is now 35% contained and 700 acres, according to Cal Fire. The decrease in size is due to better mapping.

Residents in the evacuation zones got their power back Sunday afternoon. PG&E de-energized a line after the fire broke out. About 1,100 residents were affected. The agency said it lost 15 poles and some cables.

UPDATE 1/23/22 9:00 a.m.

As of Sunday morning, the Colorado Fire is 25% contained at 1,100 acres, according to Cal Fire.

Cal Fire’s Cecile Juliette told KAZU News that the fire made a run Sunday at 10:30 p.m. due to wind and the area’s topography. The agency received additional engine strike teams and crews to help fight the fire.

Juliette said 500 people were evacuated. About 200 homes are threatened.

Highway 1 is closed from Andrew Molera State Park to Granite Canyon Bridge. Click here for the Caltrans Quickmap, which shows road closures.

Click here for up-to-date air quality information.

SPCA Monterey County is providing shelter for evacuated pets. As of Friday evening, it was caring for 6 cats and 1 dog.

UPDATE 1/22/22 7:00 p.m.

Wildfire Report: Saturday, January 22nd
KAZU News reported on the wildfire all day Saturday. Here is the latest.
A helicopter flies to the fire after refilling with water from the Pacific Ocean

CalFire is reporting the Colorado Fire is 20% contained at 1,050 acres.

Evacuation orders remain in place for residents who live in the Palo Colorado Canyon area south to Little Sur River.

A spokesperson for CalFire said the winds died down enough during the day that helicopters and airtankers were able to aggressively douse the fire from above.

Highway 1 remains closed between Granite Creek bridge and Andrew Molera State Park.

UPDATE 1/22/22 2:30 p.m.

CalFire is still reporting the Colorado Fire at 1,500 acres with 5% containment.

Evacuation orders remain in place for residents who live in the Palo Colorado Canyon area south to Little Sur River.

Monterey County’s hospitality industry has offered to help evacuees with discounted rates. A list of options can be found here.

UPDATE 1/22/22 11:00 a.m.

According to the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, the northern closure of Highway 1 is now at Granite Canyon Bridge, MM 64.30. Previously it was at Rio Road. The southern closure is still at Andrew Molera State park. You can follow the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce on Twitter.

Kirk Gafill, president of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, told KAZU News over zoom that he’s optimistic this is a containable fire.

“Weather conditions appear to be improving and hopefully because there are not a lot of fires in California right now in January, they should be able to get a lot of resources on this fire,” he said.

Gafill said the main threat is to homes in the Palo Colorado Canyon area and adjacent state park properties.

UPDATE 1/22/22 10:30 a.m.

Fire strike crews and firefighting aircraft are working to contain the Colorado Fire.

The fire is centered in an area known as Palo Colorado Canyon, about 135 miles south of San Francisco. Residents there were evacuated. Click here to see a map of the evacuation zones.

Congressman Jimmy Panetta said fire season in California is no longer seasonal.

“This is the new normal. This is something we always have to be aware of and be careful of, especially…especially when you get high winds like yesterday,” Panetta said.

A month of heavy rain in December signaled the end of fire season for many Californians, but a bone dry January and high winds has reminded them of the danger fire brings to the state.

ORIGINAL POST 1/22/22 8:30 a.m.

A wildfire is burning in the Palo Colorado area of Big Sur. As of Saturday morning, CalFire said the fire is about 1,500 acres in size and is 5 percent contained.

The fire, which has been named the Colorado Fire, broke out Friday around 7:30 p.m. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas west of 3800 Palo Colorado Road to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek. Click here to see a map of the evacuation zones.

Highway 1 is closed through Big Sur.

An American Red Cross shelter for evacuees has been established at Carmel Middle School, 4380 Carmel Valley, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923.

This story will be updated as new information comes in.