Wind gusts whip wildfire along the Big Sur coast

Strong winds and low humidity appear to be contributing factors in a wildfire along the Big Sur coast Friday evening. Officials have dubbed the incident the Colorado Fire. 

National Weather Service is reporting satellite imagery shows the vegetation fire east from Bixby Bridge, down to Highway 1, near Rocky Creek and Palo Colorado Canyon. The fire was first reported at around 7:30 p.m. PG&E cameras are also picking up images of the fire. 

By Saturday morning, the blaze, named the Colorado Fire because of the canyon where it originated, had grown to 1,500 acres. Cal Fire said there was 5% containment in its morning update. 

A mandatory evacuation order was issued at 9:30 p.m. causing residents from a remote area to flee. 

Crews are currently responding. Cal Fire has sent four engines in support of other mutual aid. Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said they are monitoring the situation in support of fire and law enforcement. 

Drivers should avoid Highway 1, which is closed in both directions from near the entrance to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur to Rio Road in Carmel, according to Caltrans.

Carmel Police Department was helping by turning people around on roadways. There was no word on whether firefighters have been able to gain any containment. 

NWS Bay Area says the area expected 70 mile per hour, but was at least experiencing gusts of up to 35 mph.  A wind advisory in the area was canceled earlier this evening. The dry northeast winds are pushing the fire in a southwest direction towards Highway 1. 

It is unclear how the fire started.