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Cause Of Colorado Fire Revealed; Containment Now Up To 50% For California Coast Blaze Near Big Sur

BIG SUR (AP/CBS13) - Shifting winds and increased humidity have helped firefighters make progress against a blaze burning in rugged mountains near California's Big Sur coast, authorities said.

The Colorado Fire was 50% contained on Tuesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

Cal Fire confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the cause of the fire was determined to be hot embers blowing in the wind from a nearby pile burning operation.

It erupted Friday evening as strong, dry, offshore winds raked California with damaging gusts. Since then, winds have calmed and changed direction.

"The onshore winds have increased humidity along the coast," a Cal Fire statement said. "Firefighters will continue strengthening control lines and mopping-up hot spots."

Improved mapping on Sunday reduced the fire's size to about 700 acres (283 hectares), officials said.

Named for its starting point in Palo Colorado Canyon, the fire triggered evacuation orders for about 500 people in the lightly populated area about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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