SAN JOSE, Calif. — Evacuation orders were lifted for hundreds of people and Highway 1 was reopened Wednesday after firefighters contained 55 percent of the Colorado Fire, which was sparked along the Big Sur coast Friday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The cause of the Monterey County fire, which was announced in a Cal Fire investigation on Tuesday, was attributed to hot embers from a pile burning operation.
“High winds blew the embers onto nearby vegetation, which ignited the fire,” officials said in the news release.
Evacuation orders for 500 people were lifted by noon, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Cecile Juliette. Highway 1, which was previously closed from Garrapata Creek to Point Sur, was also reopened; flames burned about 700 acres, damaged one yurt and threatened more than 200 structures. On Wednesday, 53 engines and 479 personnel were at the scene and firefighters were continuing to mop up hot spots.
Juliette emphasized that there would be intermittent traffic delays on Highway 1 due to heavy equipment in the area.
“Even though the highway is open people still need to be really careful and just drive slowly,” Juliette said, adding that the fire activity was “minimal” overnight.