The Colorado Fire was sparked in Palo Colorado Canyon in the Big Sur region, according to the county’s office of emergency services.
Evacuation orders are mandatory for “all areas West of 3800 Palo Colorado Rd. to Highway 1 and south to Bixby Creek,” Monterey County officials said. It’s unclear how many residents are impacted by the order.
“The strongest offshore (northeast) winds have peaked and expected to ease after midnight through sunrise. Humidity should trend higher by 4-6 am. Need to be on the watchout for some light southerly winds early Saturday morning,” the NWS said in a tweet.
The Red Cross is assisting with shelter at Carmel Middle School for those affected by the wildfire, county officials said in a tweet. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also tweeted that it will provide emergency pet supplies at that shelter.
California has experienced severe drought last year, which made for a devastating wildfire season.
Recent heavy rains across the state have eradicated the highest level of drought and greatly reduced the level 3 out of 4 “extreme drought” from 80% of the state in mid-December to 1% this week.
Still, NWS says the drought is impacting fires, which it described as “stubbornly active” in a forecast Saturday.
“Anecdotally it seems as though the long term drought is acting like a chronic illness where even recent rains and cold winter wx [weather] isn`t helping to keep fires from developing,” the NWS office in San Francisco said.
CNN’s Haley Brink contributed to this report.