Cal Fire identifies cause of wind-whipped Big Sur blaze

The Colorado Fire burns near the Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 in Big Sur, Calif., Saturday morning, Jan. 22, 2022. (Karl Mondon/AP)
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The Colorado Fire, which has burned about 700 acres in Big Sur, was caused by hot embers from a “pile burning operation,” Cal Fire said in a news release Tuesday evening.

“High winds blew the embers onto nearby vegetation, which ignited the fire,” the release said.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that fire officials said the burn operation appeared to be on a residential property, and whether the residents had a burn permit is under investigation.

The fire was 55% contained as of Wednesday morning, evacuation orders were lifted on Wednesday. The fire has been burning since Friday evening.

Highway 1 also reopened on Wednesday, along with all roads that were closed due to the blaze.

Cal Fire asked drivers to use caution as emergency vehicles are still working in the area. There will be periodic traffic controls to allow emergency vehicles access to the fire area.

One structure has been destroyed.

Cal Fire has dispatched 476 firefighters, 53 fire engines and 15 crews to fight the fire. Three helicopters, nine water tenders and four dozers are also helping battle the blaze.

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