Wildfire burns near California’s Highway 1, prompting evacuations..

A wildfire near California’s scenic Highway 1, which winds along the Pacific coastline, prompted evacuation orders in Monterey County on Friday night.

The Colorado Fire was sparked in Palo Colorado Canyon in the Big Sur region, according to the county’s office of emergency services.A portion of Highway 1 was closed in both directions.The road was closed for about 21 miles, between the entrance to Andrew Molera Park in Big Sur to Rio Road in Carmel.

Evacuation orders are mandatory for “all areas West of 3800 Palo Colorado Rd. to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek,” Monterey County officials said. It’s unclear how many residents are impacted by the order.

The fire had burned around 100 acres when the evacuation order was issued.it had burned through 1,500 acres in Monterey County, and was only 5% contained.

Dry winds were pushing the fire toward the highway, according to the local National Weather Service.This fire could be seen from Santa Cruz County, even though it is about 70 miles away in Monterey County, CalFire said.

The Red Cross assisted with shelter at Carmel Middle School for those affected by the wildfire and Monterey County is home to about 430,000 residents.

California has experienced severe drought last year, which made for a devastating wildfire season.

Recent heavy rains across the state have eradicated the highest level of drought and greatly reduced the level 3 out of 4 “extreme drought” from 80% of the state in mid-December to 1% this week.

Still, NWS says the drought is impacting fires, which it described as “stubbornly active” in a forecast Saturday.

“Anecdotally it seems as though the long term drought is acting like a chronic illness where even recent rains and cold winter wx [weather] isn`t helping to keep fires from developing,” the NWS office in San Francisco said.

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