Dramatic Big Sur Fire Photos, Videos Show Raging Inferno as Residents Told to Evacuate

Dramatic photos and videos of an ongoing wildfire in Big Sur, California show a raging inferno in the affected area as residents were placed under a mandatory evacuation order.

The fire was first reported at around 7.30 p.m. P.T. on Friday and began in the Palo Colorado Canyon in Monterey County. The wildfire had grown to at least 250 acres by early Saturday morning, according to NBC Bay Area.

Officials are calling the wildfire the Colorado Fire.

Colorado Fire Burns in California
The Colorado Fire burns along Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Nic Coury/(AP Photo

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office issued a mandatory evacuation order on Friday for all areas West of 3800 Palo Colorado Road to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek.

The California Highway Patrol closed Highway 1 in both directions. The highway is closed at Rio Road near Carmel-on-Sea and at the Andrew Molera State Park entrance, which is north of Big Sur.

Firefighters from around California's Central Coast were called in to respond to the wildfire on Friday. Firefighters from at least 13 agencies were involved as of 10 p.m. PT.

The Colorado Fire Burning on Friday.
The Colorado Fire burns along Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Nic Coury/AP Photo
Fire Burns Below Rocky Creek Bridge
The Colorado Fire burns along below Rocky Creek Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Nic Coury/AP Photo

Mike Meddles, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection duty chief, told The Los Angeles Times on Friday that evacuations were taking place on the east side of Highway 1 from Palo Colorado Road to Rocky Creek Bridge.

Meddles told the newspaper that the wildfire was being pushed west by high winds in the area. "We're trying to get more [firefighters] in," Meddles said on Friday.

A wind advisory had been issued for the Bay Area effective Friday night through Saturday morning with gusts of up to 70MPH possible in some areas.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that high winds were more likely in higher elevations. It remains to be seen what effect the wind might have on the ongoing wildfire.

The Colorado Fire Burns a Fence
The Colorado Fire burns a fence off Highway 1 near Big Sur, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Nic Coury/AP Photo

The American Red Cross opened a shelter for evacuated residents at Carmel Middle School in Carmel-on-Sea. That shelter opened on Friday evening as locals were urged to leave their homes.

Videos posted to Twitter showed the extent and intensity of the fire on late Friday and early Saturday as authorities fought the blaze, while the official Twitter account of NWS Bay Area has been providing updates on the situation.

"The strongest offshore (northeast) winds have peaked and expected to ease after midnight through sunrise," NWS Bay Area tweeted at around 11.30 p.m. on Friday.

"Humidity should trend higher by 4-6 am. Need to be on the watchout for some light southerly winds early Saturday morning," the account said.

NWS Bay Area later noted that the Colorado Fire's heat signature had decreased between 11 and 11.30 p.m. "as offshore winds begin to ease."