Rare winter fire burns path to iconic Bixby Bridge in Monterey

Colorado Fire burned 1,050 acres of along California’s coast

Bixby Bridge (Getty)
Bixby Bridge (Getty)

California’s Bixby Bridge felt the heat from a rare winter wildfire that started near the Big Sur coast.

The Colorado Fire burned 1,050 acres of mostly chaparral — evergreen shrubs, bushes and small trees — along the coast, the Mercury News reported. The flames approached the Rocky Creek Bridge as well as the historic Bixby Bridge, built in 1932 and featured in a number of luxury car commercials. The structure itself wasn’t damaged in the fire.

The blaze, which claimed no lives and damaged only one structure, was probably caused by a lack of rainfall and an increase in wind speeds. Despite a wet December, the region hasn’t had any rain this month, allowing the region to dry out.

Winds that strengthened the fire were measured at 40 mph in the Bay Area and left almost 30,000 customers without power on Saturday morning.

The fire broke out shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday in the Palo Colorado Canyon and Rocky Creek Road area in Monterey County, leading to evacuation orders for residents later that evening.

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“It moved surprisingly fast for a fire around this time of year,” Cal Fire Assistant Chief George Nunez, who works in the San Benito-Monterey unit, told the Mercury. “We had a little bit of moisture and it was cold last night, but because of the winds, it burned along the slope, caught another wind and then blew in another direction.”

The highway was closed from the area near the Andrew Molera State Park entrance in Big Sur, to Rio Road in Carmel.

“We’re not likely to see this turn into 30,000 or 100,000 acres like we see at the peak of our fire seasons,” National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass told the Mercury.

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Report: Insurance won't cover damage wreaked by Colorado wildfire

[MN] — Victoria Pruitt 

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