The 700-acre wildfire along California's picturesque Big Sur coastline was sparked by hot embers from a "pile burning operation," CalFire said Tuesday evening.
The blaze, named the Colorado Fire for its origin in the Palo Colorado Canyon, quickly approached the state's coastline on Friday night, pushed by wind gusts up to 50 mph. Cal Fire said high winds blew the hot embers from the pile burning operation onto nearby vegetation, which then sparked the fire, forcing 500 residents to evacuate Friday.
The evacuation order remained in effect as of Tuesday evening, and Highway 1 from Palo Colorado Road to the Bixby Creek Bridge is closed in both directions with no reopening date.
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"Currently, that stretch of roadway contains many potential hazards, including fire, falling rock, and heavy emergency services vehicles," Monterey County said. "Safety is our number one priority. An increase in traffic on the roadway could create additional hazards."
Only one structure has been damaged in the fire, according to CalFire, and the blaze is 45% contained as of Tuesday night.
The Monterey County Health Department issued a boil water notice Sunday for those in the Colorado Fire area due to potential damage to water system infrastructure.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California Big Sur wildfire near Big Sur sparked by burning operation