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Firefighters take control of a wildfire that has closed the scenic California Highway

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Firefighters take control of a wildfire that has closed the scenic California Highway

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Firefighters better contained a wildfire on Sunday that closed northern California’s scenic coastal drive and threatened a famous bridge, though about 500 people remained under evacuation orders, officials said. .

The so-called Colorado Fire, about 15 miles south of Monterey and just north of the area known as Big Sur, erupted on Friday evening and crossed the Pacific Coast Highway, burning for a time on the side road ocean.

The fire approached, but did not damage, the Bixby Creek Bridge, known for its dramatic concrete arch support that rises 260 feet above the gorge and the Pacific Ocean in sunken.

The fire was 35% contained Sunday evening, compared to 25% in the morning, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in an update.

The fire was limited to around 700 acres, down from 1,050 acres in the morning, a revision he attributed to “accurate mapping”.

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Cal Fire said, “Fire behavior was moderate and caused wind-driven runs late Saturday night and Sunday morning,” adding that crew efforts to build and improve containment lines and clear hot spots would continue on Sunday.

One structure, an occupied yurt, was destroyed, Cal Fire spokeswoman Cecile Juliette said. Most of those under evacuation orders would have left the area, she added.

A Cal Fire water drop helicopter is pictured as the so-called Colorado Fire burns near Big Sur, California on January 22, 2022.Peter Da Silva / Reuters

Such fires are atypical for this time of year, as the Colorado Fire scorched an area that went more than a decade fire-free in January across more than 100 acres, Juliette said.

California has long had an active wildfire season, but it has grown longer and more punitive in recent years, fueled at least in part by climate change and a two-decade drought.

“We’ve had several fires in Northern California over the past few years that have been different from the fires of 10 or 15 years ago,” Juliette said.

“They’ve been a lot bigger, (with) a lot more energy, a lot hotter, and spread a lot faster. So this is the new California.

Firefighters take control of a wildfire that has closed the scenic California Highway

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