In Pictures: Wildfire in California’s Big Sur forces evacuations
More than 250 firefighters aided by water-dropping aircraft contained about 20 percent of the blaze.
Authorities closed a stretch of Highway 1, with no estimated time for reopening. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
23 Jan 2022
Firefighters on Sunday battled a wildfire that broke out in the rugged mountains along Big Sur, forcing hundreds of residents on a precarious stretch of coast in the US state of California to evacuate and authorities to shut its main road.
The fire started Friday night in the Palo Colorado Canyon in Big Sur and quickly spread towards the sea, fanned by strong winds up to 80km/h (50 mph).
The blaze burned at least 6 square kilometres (2.3 square miles) of brush and redwood trees, said Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“The fire lined up with the wind and the terrain and that gave the fire a lot of energy to make a big run,” she said on Saturday.
Authorities made contact with about 500 residents, urging them to evacuate the sparsely populated area between Carmel and Big Sur. More than 250 firefighters from multiple agencies and volunteer groups, aided by water-dropping aircraft, contained about 20 percent of the blaze by Saturday evening.
“The winds have died down and that has worked in our favour,” she said.
The Colorado fire burns along below Rocky Creek Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur, California. [Nic Coury/AP Photos]
Brandon Crenshaw takes photos as a fallen tree sits on top of his car after strong winds in Upland, California. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]
A California Highway Patrol officer drives south on Highway 1 as the Colorado Fire burns near Big Sur. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
In Southern California, a peak gust of 144 km/h (90 mph) was recorded in the mountains east of Santa Clarita. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]
The two-lane highway along Big Sur is prone to closures because of fires and mudslides from heavy rain. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
Strong winds developed across the region, toppling trees and powerlines. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]
The Colorado Fire burns behind a house off Highway 1 near Big Sur. [Nic Coury/AP Photo]
Strong winds were recorded across the San Francisco Bay Area overnight, knocking down trees and power lines and causing outages. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]
A fallen tree leans on a home after strong winds in Upland, California. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]