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'Surreal' wildfire burning near iconic California coastal highway prompts evacuations

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/22/2022 Christine Fernando, USA TODAY

A section of California's famous Highway 1 was closed Saturday morning as a fire burning near the Pacific Ocean prompted evacuations close to the state's Big Sur region.

Citing photos of the fire, The Bay Area National Weather Service office described "surreal fire behavior ... in an area with little or no fire history."

The fire, which is being called the Colorado Fire, had burned around 100 acres, less than one-fifth of a square mile, when Monterey County officials ordered the evacuations Friday evening. By Saturday morning, it had burned 2.3 square miles and was 5% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

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Highway 1 was shut down in both directions from Andrew Molera State Park to Carmel-By-The-Sea due to the fire, California's Department of Transportation said.


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The wildfire started in the Palo Colorado canyon late Friday before 35 mph winds pushed it toward the sea as flames burned near the iconic Bixby Bridge.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory in the Bay area through Saturday morning.

Strong winds in Northern California early Saturday were pushing the fire west, Mike Meddles, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection duty chief, told KTLA.

He said firefighters from 13 agencies from around California's central coast had responded to the fire.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Surreal' wildfire burning near iconic California coastal highway prompts evacuations

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