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Dolan Fire burns 124,924 acres, containment now at 98%

dolan ridge fire
U.S. Forest Service-Los Padres National Forest


UPDATE 10/7/2020 9 a.m. Containment of the Dolan Fire has increased to 98%, according to fire officials. Acreage is still at 124,924.

Crew say conditions have improved because it has not been as warm, but they say heat is showing up in new areas on the infrared camera.

Crews in the northeast part of the fire were cut short because of the steep terrain, so helicopters are being used to slow the spread of fire in unburned interior islands. In the southeastern part of the fire, handcrews are able to get into the area to mop up and patrol contained areas.

There is still the possibility that flare-ups could be a risk to drivers along Highway 1, but the threat to communities along Highway 101 has been reduced.

UPDATE 10/6/2020 9 a.m. Containment of the Dolan Fire has grown to 92% and containment has remained at 124,924 acres.

By the end of the week, crews expect temperatures to go down to the mid 60's and their meteorologists say there is a chance for light rain on Friday. The marine layer has been bringing in cool and humid air, and that is expected to continue throughout the week.

A new team, the FDNY Incident Management Team, assumed control of the fire Tuesday morning, but during the transfer, one of the team members tested positive for COVID-19. Now command is working with the Monterey County Department of Public Health to put COVID-19 procedures in place.

UPDATE 10/1/2020 10 a.m. Containment of the Dolan Fire has grown to 90% and it remains at 124,924 acres.

Officials say weather is a threat to crews, and there is a Red Flag warning in effect due to high temperatures and more wind. It is in effect until Friday at 6 p.m.

Crews expect winds to reach 20 miles per hour at lower elevations and 30 to 40 mile per hour gusts on ridge tops.

In the Red Flag warning issued by the National Weather Service, the Dolan Fire and new ignitions were listed as the highest threat.

UPDATE 9/30/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire has burned 124,924 acres, and containment has grown to 87%.

Crews said there was a large plume of smoke at the southern end of the fire Tuesday, but it did not pose a threat to the perimeter of the fire because it was a green island burning.

Firefighters were able to remove two large redwood snags as well using an Explosive Hazard Treatment with help from the Monterey County Sheriff's Office's Arson Bomb Squad.

Warm and dry conditions are expected over the next few days, so crews are watching out for hot spots.

UPDATE 9/29/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire's containment has gone up, but acreage has gone down, according to fire officials.

The fire has burned 124,924 acres and is 85% contained.

They said the acreage has gone down because a controlled burn area on Fort Hunter Liggett property was thought to be part of the Dolan Fire footprint.

Today, crews are expected to use explosives to remove a redwood tree. They said the large redwood snag, a tree that is about 125 feet tall, is unsafe to cut down and is considered a threat to firefighters, the public and Nacimiento Ferguson Road. With the help of the Monterey County sheriff's Office Arson Bomb Squad, they will use an Explosive Hazard Treatment to bring it down.

Officials said Monday night's marine layer helped to limit fire activity, but they expect hot and dry conditions Tuesday.

UPDATE 9/28/2020 9 a.m. The Dolan Fire is holding at 128,417 acres, but containment has grown to 71%, according to Monterey County officials.

Crews have two new resources to help fight the fire- a one-person helicopter to detect heat sources and a drone that collects real-time information about the fire.

A Burned Area Emergency Response team will arrive at the fire Tuesday to address concerns about erosion, runoff and flooding in burned areas. Their goal is to develop a treatment plan to limit damage.

UPDATE 9/27/20 11:37 p.m. The Dolan Fire remains at 128,417 acres, but containment has jumped to 62 percent as of Sunday.

UPDATE 9/26/2020 11:30 p.m. The Dolan Fire remains at 128,417 acres, but containment has jumped to 57 percent as of Saturday. 14 structures were destroyed.

UPDATE 9/25/2020 2 p.m. The Dolan Fire has remained at 128,417 acres and 46% containment for most of the week. Officials tell KION that containment has not grown because terrain makes it difficult for crews to access some areas.

For the most part, officials say they feel good about certain areas and are focusing on targeting hot spots, but they are concerned about a predicted change in weather.

There is a red flag warning north of the area, and while it will not be as bad in the Big Sur area, warm, dry and breezy conditions are expected between Saturday night and Monday morning. When that passes, officials said they expect to be in a lot better shape.

UPDATE 9/24/2020 8 a.m. The Dolan Fire is still 128,417acres and 46% contained, according to fire officials. The fire has only grown an acre since Monday and containment has been at 46% since this past weekend.

Crews said there was moderate fire behavior Wednesday. Helicopters worked to cool hot spots near a portion of uncontained fire perimeter in the northeast, but firefighters were not able to put in direct fire line because of the terrain.

On Thursday, crews are identifying areas of heat, patrolling the highway and making sure structures are secured. They are also patrolling and cooling hot spots along McKern Road.

UPDATE 9/23/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire burning near Big Sur is holding at 128,417 acres and 46% containment.

Officials said firefighters are continuing to monitor containment lines and watch for increased fire behavior. Over the next few days, they expect the area to be warmer, but helicopters have been able to help cool hot spots in areas firefighters cannot reach.

UPDATE 9/22/2020 10 a.m. Officials said the Dolan Fire has grown by only one acre to 128,417 acres, and it is still 46% contained.

Highway 1 from Gorda to Lucia reopened Wednesday evening. Crews say there are still pockets of heat near the highway that they are monitoring, so they are warning travelers to be cautious.

On Tuesday, firefighters are expected to continue monitoring the perimeter of the fire and cool hot spots near uncontained fire lines.

Warmer and dryer weather is expected Tuesday and in the following days, but officials say they are prepared for the conditions.

Officials said residents and visitors can expect to see some fire activity until there is a significant amount of rain, which usually happens by early- to mid-November.

UPDATE 9/21/2020 2:30 p.m. Crews say parts of the Dolan Fire have been very quiet, but a fire-ending event may not happen until early to mid-November.

The Fire Behavior Analyst assigned to the incident said there are small areas of heat, but those may not be gone until there is a good rain event. Until that happens, there may still be heat and smoke. She also predicted that there will be periods of activity for at least the next month.

The northwest part of the fire has been very quiet, according to the Operations Section Chief, but the Arroyo Seco to the northeast is still an area of focus. Crews are using retardant, but he said it has not moved for several days. He said the east side near Junipero Serra Peak also has not moved in several days.

To the southeast, he said the Fort Hunter Liggett area has been quiet and looks good, and to the south, everything has held. The Operations Section Chief reports that there are still some issues with rocks and debris on Highway 1, especially towards the southern end of the fire.

Starting this afternoon, a new crew will be coming in to replace Pacific Northwest Team 2. On Tuesday, they will shadow the current crew, and command will change Wednesday morning.

UPDATE 9/21/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan fire has grown to 128,416 hours and is 46% contained.

So far, fire officials report that 19 structures have been destroyed and four have been damaged.

Crews said there was not much fire activity Sunday. They said they monitored the area around the Arroyo Seco River and completed ignitions along Highway 1 to bring the fire to the road and contain the edge.

On Monday, crews said they expect moderate fire activity, but minimal growth.

UPDATE 9/20/2020 The Dolan Fire is at 128,261 acres and is 46 percent contained.

UPDATE 9/18/2020 2:30 p.m. Officials provided an update on efforts to contain the Dolan Fire at a community meeting Friday.

The operations section chief said there is not much activity in the northwest part of the fire and out by the coast, but crews are still patrolling and monitoring the area. In the Arroyo Seco area, most structure preparation has been finished and most of the primary containment lines are in place. He said they are not seeing much activity along the edge of the fire, but they are using aviation for retardant and water near Junipero Serra peak because they cannot get crews in safely due to the terrain. Primary containment lines have been put in place to the east of the fire edge and structure preparation has been finished in case the fire moves.

Officials said the fire has been most active at the southern side, but crews began ignition operations a few days ago.

The fire behavior analyst said the marine layer has helped with humidity at lower elevations, but at higher elevations, it is staying dryer, so fuels are in the 97th percentile.

As of Thursday evening, Cal Fire is no longer in unified command. Pacific Northwest Team 2 is in unified command with Fort Hunter Liggett and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

UPDATE 9/18/2020 8:00 a.m. The Dolan Fire is now at 45% containment and has grown to 127,724 acres.

Forecast cooler temperatures will allow firefighters to continue to hold and monitor the burn they completed yesterday on McKern Road. Helicopters are available to assist firefighters in cooling hot spots on containment lines again today while the fire backs down the steep slopes to join the main fire.

UPDATE 9/17/2020 10 a.m. Officials report that the Dolan Fire has grown to 125,559 acres and is 40% contained.

They said crews continued to bring fire east along McKern Road Wednesday to join fore lines from Highway 1 to the contained fire perimeter on Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. They report that a spot fire started beyond the fire lines, but there was a quick response.

Firefighters are expected to complete the operation on McKern Road Thursday and help helicopters cool hot spots.

At around noon, the wind direction is expected to change and come out of the northwest.

UPDATE 9/16/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire grew more than 2,600 acres since yesterday to 122,178 acres. It is still 40% contained.

Officials said crews began a burnout operation from Prewitt Ridge to Highway 1 through the Pacific Valley subdivision and along Prewitt Ridge to McKern Road.

Today, firefighters are expected to continue the burnout operation on McKern Road, and they say it is intended to prevent the fire from moving south of McKern and Nacimiento-Ferguson Roads.

Officials said structure protection around Arroyo Seco is nearly finished, and they are prioritizing doing the same work in the Tassajara area.

The incident meteorologist predicts that there will be a change in wind direction Thursday. Although they do not predict an increase in wind speed, the concern is that the change in direction could move the fire farther east.

UPDATE 9/15/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire has grown to 119,488 acres, according to officials with the Los Padres National Forest. It is still 40% contained.

On Monday, crews said they made progress constructing a fire line along Prewitt Ridge between McKern and Nacimiento-Fergusson Roads, and they have continued to work on structure protection in Arroyo Seco.

About 5,500 feet of hose has been laid on McKern Road to prepare for holding ignitions planned to start at Prewitt Ridge and moving east. Officials said this is to prepare for a forecasted change in wind direction expected to happen later this week.

UPDATE 9/14/2020 4:30 p.m. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office provided an update on evacuation orders and warnings related to the Dolan Fire Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Steve Bernal said they are hoping to have hotspots wrapped up along Highway 1 and reopen the highway by the end of the week.

The fire has been moving toward the Arroyo Seco area, so Zones 26 and 24 are still under evacuation orders.

Evacuation orders are in place for Zones B2, J, K, 24, 26, 27 and 28.

Evacuation warnings are in place for Zones A, B1, C, L, M, 14, 25 and 29. Bernal said Zones 30 and 31 are also under evacuation warnings, but he did not provide information about where they are.

UPDATE 9/14/2020 2:30 p.m. Officials provided an update on the Dolan Fire burning near Big Sur, which has grown to more than 118,000 acres.

The incident meteorologist said there was a deep marine layer last night that is expected to continue Monday and Tuesday nights. It makes it difficult for aircraft to go up, but keeps conditions cooler. He said the coastal area has been cool with good relative humidity, but inland dries out after the marine layer moves out.

Crews are continuing to look for spot fires that break out beyond the fire line. One started over the weekend and grew to 100 acres, and officials said the spots can grow to 50 acres within 15 to 20 minutes.

Officials said there is a finger of fire moving north and towards the east side of the Arroyo Seco River. They expect it to move into Arroyo Seco, so they are preparing structures and trying to secure the edge with helicopters to prevent it from moving into Tassajara.

One firefighter is still in a Fresno hospital recovering from burns. They said the recovery will take a while, but the firefighter is recovering and talking to friends and family. Others involved in the incident are recuperating from smoke inhalation.

UPDATE 9/14/2020 10 a.m. The Dolan Fire in the Big Sur area has grown to 118,465 acres, and it is 40% contained. Officials with Los Padres National Forest said there was minimal fire behavior overnight, but behavior was moderate around Nacimiento Campground.

Cal Fire is now in unified command with Pacific Northwest Team 2 and Fort Hunter Liggett.

Crews expect challenges due to expected northwest winds, but they are continuing to work on structure protection in Arroyo Seco and building containment lines on the east side. They expect a heavy marine layer will moderate fire behavior and give firefighters a chance to improve containment lines and continue with mop-up.

UPDATE 9/13/20 11:30 p.m. The Dolan Fire has burned through 117,242 acres and is 40% contained.

UPDATE 9/11/2020 11 a.m. Officials with the Los Padres National Forest report that the Dolan Fire has grown to 113,486 acres, and it is still 26% contained.

There are 778 people working to contain the fire. Fourteen structures have been destroyed and four have been damaged.

Crews report that there was not much fire activity overnight because of the marine layer, cooler temperature and higher relative humidity. No extreme heat is expected Friday. Crews are continuing to conduct burn operations and work to keep structures safe.

UPDATE 9/10/2020 2:30 p.m. Officials provided an update Thursday on the effort to contain the Dolan Fire burning near Big Sur.

It has burned 111,382 acres so far and is 26% contained.

A spokesperson for Big Sur Fire said the fire is "growing considerably" on the eastern side, but despite some continued growth, officials said weather conditions have been helping.

Crews are still working to establish control lines and conduct burnouts. Smoke is expected to stay in the area through Friday, but the incident meteorologist said the smoke prevents the area from getting hotter, dryer and windier because the sun is not as strong. The marine layer has also helped to reduce the spread of the fire.

Two out of three firefighters who were hospitalized due to a burnout incident Tuesday were released from the hospital Wednesday, and they are reported to be doing well and recovering. The other firefighter is still recovering in the hospital. Other firefighters involved in the incident have been sent home or to hotels to rest, and a Critical Incident Stress Management Team has responded to help them. There will be an investigation into the incident to see what lessons can be learned.

Officials said structure protection is a high priority, and the fire could move northeast.

UPDATE 9/10/2020 9:30 a.m. The Dolan Fire has grown to 111,382 acres and is 26% contained.

14 structures have been destroyed, and 4 are damaged.

UPDATE 9/9/20 12:50 p.m.-- The Dolan Fire has grown to 93,554 acres and is 20% contained.

A Dolan Fire spokesperson from the U.S. Forest Service tells KION Wednesday afternoon that the three firefighters injured during yesterday morning's burnover are reported to be doing well and recovering. He said the firefighter hospitalized in critical condition is "stable."

Moving forward, Officials say winds will shift from the north to the south/southwest as a marine layer spreads over the fire area bringing cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity levels to lower elevations.

Above the marine layer steep terrain, dry fuels and strong winds may impact fire behavior burning pockets of fuels, and short uphill
runs are expected. Crews along the eastern perimeter will scout out along Kern Ridge to establish line and protect structures. Firefighters will scout out and identify possible opportunities for containment lines utilizing the 2008 Indian Fire burn scar.

Wednesday morning, Zones 24, 26, and 27 were ordered to evacuate, meaning LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. This includes Arroyo Seco Road and Santa Lucia.

Evacuation WARNINGS were issued in Zone 28 and 29, which includes Jolon Road and Lockwood-San Lucas approaching the west side of Highway 101 between San Lucas and San Ardo.

Dolan Fire evacuation ORDERS as of Wednesday morning 9/9/20
Dolan Fire evacuation WARNINGS as of Wednesday morning 9/9/20

UPDATE 9/8/20 3:15 p.m. - Three firefighters are hospitalized due to the rapidly-spreading Dolan Fire on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, Tuesday morning

The U.S. Forest Service says a "shelter deployment" involving 14 firefighters took place at around 8:30 a.m. near the Nacimiento Station. The station was destroyed. The three firefighters injured suffered burns and smoke inhalation and were transported to a hospital in Fresno. One person's condition is considered "critical" and the other two are "fair," according to the USFS.

An Evacuation Order (leave now) was issued for Zone L-Gorda.

An Evacuation WARNING was issued for Zone M-Salmon Creek

Find your address on the map here.

Evacuation Centers are set up at the Monterey Conference Center and King City Library, open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Evacuees heading south can also call 805-788-2307.

In an afternoon virtual community meeting, officials said there was significant growth to the eastern and southern portions of the fire, and the fire jumped Nacimiento-Fergusson Road - that was the trigger point for more evacuation orders and warnings.

They are currently working on structure protection around Prewitt Ridge and Mill Creek. Highway 1 is also an issue with "rollouts" as rocks and other debris impact the highway.

They are weather change late tonight or early tomorrow that will bring more moisture, but strong southwest wind - gusts as high as 35 mph. This could mean for more fire growth to the north and east. The U.S. Forest Service says they are "keeping an eye on Arroyo Seco."

Their big concern is spot fires, which USFS officials say can happened up to a half-mile away when wind and slope align.

The 14 firefighters who had to take shelter during the burnover Tuesday morning are reportedly a mix of forest service employees and contractors.

Another issue fighting the Dolan Fire are resources. There is a "competition" to get hand crews, dozers and engines due to the large number of wildfires across the western U.S.

10:15 a.m. - As feared, Monday's extreme weather conditions led to significant growth for the Dolan Fire. The fire is now 73,089 acres, with containment remaining at 40 percent, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

From the USFS:  "Crews are preparing control lines to be ready to execute firing operations from Cone Peak Road to Hwy 1, and beginning line construction northeast from Cone Peak Road to Ativa Road. This is being done to keep fire north of the  Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. If successful these operations will secure the Highway 1 corridor to the south and minimize fire growth to the east of coast ridge. Structure protection actions are being carried out at LimeKiln State Park and other areas to be prepared if the fire advances."

Tuesday morning, an evacuation order was issued for South Coast Ridge Road Zone K, described as the area "bounded by Hwy 1 at about Mile Marker 15, East to intersection of Prewitt Creek Ridge Road and South Coast Ridge Road, South along South Coast Ridge Road to intersection of Los Burros Road and South Coast Ridge Road, west along Los Burros Road to Hwy 1 near Mile Marker 11, to include Plasket Ridge Road, San Martin Top, and Alder Creek Road."

Zone K evacuation 9/8/20

UPDATE 9/7/2020 11 a.m. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the Dolan Fire in Big Sur has grown to 36,237 acres, and it is still 40% contained.

Officials said fire activity has increased in the eastern and southern parts of the fire, especially around Cone Peak, and they believe hot and dry conditions have contributed to the spread.

They said crews will continue improving containment lines along McWay Ridge and near the Lucia and Hermitage areas.

UPDATE 9/6/20 10:31 PM The Dolan Fire has burned through 34,175 acres and is 40 percent contained.

9/5/20 10:35 p.m. The Dolan Fire has burned through 32,785 acres and is 40 percent contained.

In a press release, the Los Padres National Forest crew said the fire is moving to the south and east within the Ventana Wilderness, growing by several hundred acres Friday. They said the fire has progressed into the San Antonio Creek drainage.

They added that fire behavior is expected to increase with the loss of the marine layer, higher temperatures and drier conditions.

UPDATE 9/5/2020 11:21 a.m. The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services has announced that the evacuation order for Zone A has been downgraded to an evacuation warning.

Zone A starts at Mile Post 35, and extends as far south as the intersection of the North Coast Ridge Trail and the Arroyo Secco Ridge Trail. The zone extends are far east as Anderson Peak. To the west, the zone extends through Big Creek Sate Reserve to the intersection of highway 1 at Mile Post 26.

To view an interactive map that shows which zones are under evacuation click here.

Residents who are under an evacuation warning should be packed and ready to leave at a moment's notice.

UPDATE 9/3/2020 12 p.m. The Dolan Fire has grown to 31,409 acres, but it is now 40% contained.

Because of the marine layer, the Los Padres National Forest said there was not much fire activity overnight, but there is still active fire in the east and south, especially around Cone Peak.

Because of heat forecasted for this weekend, crews expect more fire activity.

UPDATE 9/2/2020 4:30 p.m. The Dolan Fire in Big Sur has grown to 31,005 acres and is 35% contained.

Crews said fire activity was minimal overnight, and crews continued reinforcing containment lines along McWay Ridge and mopping up.

Most fire growth is happening in the Ventana Wilderness and area around Cone Peak, according to the Los Padres National Forest.

UPDATE 9/1/2020 2:30 p.m. Fire officials said in an update Tuesday that the Dolan Fire has grown to 30,595 acres and remains at 25% contained.

Officials said they are close to containment at the north end of the fire, but other areas have presented more challenges.

Along Highway 1, they said they have seen reburn above the highway that has led to debris, rocks and logs in the road, and they expect that to continue as long as there is active fire along the slope.

Near Lucia and Hermitage, crews said they have had success and have continued to make improvements, but there is still some uncontrolled fire edge.

To the southeast near Twin Peaks and Cone Peak, officials said the fire edge is still very active, and they issued more evacuation orders in the area south of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Monday.

On the east side, there is still uncontained fire burning around Lost Valley.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, officials said evacuation orders in the Partington area will be reduced to an evacuation warning, but said to wait for an official notice before returning. The area will be open to residents only.

The Office of Emergency Services is still working to assess damage, and some areas are still inaccessible, but so far 8 structures are confirmed destroyed and 4 have been damaged, but officials said that number is likely to change.

UPDATE 8/31/2020 12 p.m. The Dolan Fire burning in Big Sur has grown to 29,434 acres, but containment has grown to 25%.

New evacuation orders were issued for the fire Monday south of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

The Los Padres National Forest said the marine layer helped decrease fire activity Sunday night, and firefighters were able to clear vegetation and fuels around infrastructure in the Partington area and conduct a tactical fire operation around the north section.

The fire activity is still increasing in the southeast portion, and crews are working to put in containment lines around the Twin Peak area, including along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

The Los Padres National Forest said the fire is also burning further into the Ventana Wilderness on the east side.

Highway 1 is still closed.

UPDATE 8/29/20 5:56 p.m. - The Dolan Fire has burned 25,587 acres and is 20% contained.

The fire poses a risk to multiple businesses, parks, recreational sites, and communication infrastructure as well as the communities of Hermitage and Lucia in the south, and Partington Ridge in the north.

Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness, coastal watershed, and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor.

8/28/20 4:14 p.m. - The Dolan Fire has now burned 23,365 acres and is 20% contained.

The Ragged Point road closure was moved to Los Burros Rd. (aka Willow Creek Rd.) at the mile marker 11.5.

The Los Padres National Forest Service confirms that crews are continuing to prioritize the north and the south sides of the fire in order to protect the communities of Partington Ridge, Hermitage, and Lucia.

The west side of the fire along Highway 1 is the next highest priority as smoldering and rolling material continue to threaten large sections of the highway.

UPDATE 8/27/20 10 p.m. - Containment on the Dolan Fire has increased to 20 percent, but officials says there was significant fire activity on Thursday.

According to Los Padres National Forest officials, "crews worked to stay ahead of the fire and are prioritizing the north and south sides of the fire to protect threatened communities."

On Thursday, the fire burned through retardant lines and began to move toward Cone Peak. The fire also began burning into a drainage just above Hermitage. In the north,  the fire grew along North Coast Ridge Road, but there are additional crews expected to arrive on Friday to help in that area.

The fire is also threatening to cross Highway 1. "Hazards from rolling material persists along the west side of the fire and poses a risk to Highway 1 including vehicles, structures, and apparatuses along the highway," according to Thursday night's incident report.

In the south, Hermitage and Lucia, and in the north, Partington Ridge, are all considered threatened by the Dolan Fire.

UPDATE 8/27/2020 3:30 p.m. The Los Padres National Forest said the Dolan Fire is pushing southeast this afternoon in Division Z.

Crews had planned to build a control line from above Hermitage to Cone Peak, but said that plan has been abandoned. Despite that, officials said Lucia and Hermitage are still in good shape and lines are being improved there.

The forest service said McWay Ridge is holding.

UPDATE 8/27/2020 10:30 a.m. The Dolan Fire has grown to 21,861 acres, according to the Los Padres National Firest, but containment is still at 15%.

Officials said the fire has "pushed significantly" into McWay Ridge by about 150 to 200 acres, but said they believe contingency lines will be successful and are working to stay ahead of it.

Forest service officials said they are watching the east side, but said there is the potential for growth. They do not have personnel assigned to the eastern side but are instead focusing on protecting communities to the north and south.

There was a rumor of fire in Lost Valley, but officials said the Los Padres National Forest said there was a flight over an area and they did not find anything there.

Crews said they made good progress in the south and are working to protect the Hermitage, Lucia and Morning Glory. The fire is also threatening Partington Ridge, businesses, communication sites, parks the Ventana Wilderness, the coastal watershed and habitats for endangered species.

Crews are also monitoring smoldering fire on Highway 1 to protect communication lines. They said material has impacted the highway and presents hazards to vehicles and the potential for spot fires across the road.

Officials said they believe the fire will have a long duration.

UPDATE 8/26/2020 2:30 p.m. The Dolan Fire in Big Sur has grown to 21,844 acres, according to the Los Padres National Forest.

There is currently a threat to a "significant" number of structures. More than 600 people are working to fight to fire, but there is an influx of resources to help.

Officials said there are residents in Partington Ridge and other areas defending their homes, and they said CERT will be resupplying those residents. The supplies will be handed off to Big Sur Fire, and that agency will distribute them. The supplies will mainly be groceries, but they said chainsaw chains, chainsaw oil, medicine and some propane takes are also supplies they could potentially bring. The first supply run will happen Saturday and it will happen weekly on Wednesdays until it is no longer needed.

Crews are out working at the north and south ends of the fire, but concentrating on the primary control point in the north. They are working to protect structures and infrastructure around Partington, Lucia and the Hermitage.

As crews work to contain the fire, PG&E is working on repairing infrastructure.

Highway 1 is still closed due to potential hazards, and there is currently no date for reopening.

UPDATE 8/25/2020 10 p.m. The Dolan Fire around Big Sur has grown to 20,397 acres, according to the Los Padres National Forest, but containment has also grown to 15%.

Officials said the marine layer made fire behavior more moderate, and today crews will focus on the northern and southern edges of the fire putting up control lines and monitoring bridges.

The Dolan Fire is threatening communities around the hermitage, Partington Ridge and Lucia, as well as businesses, communication sites, parks and recreational sites.

Los Padres National Forest officials are also closing the Dolan Fire area on the Monterey Ranger District to the public, citing public safety and keeping the roads accessible for fire equipment and traffic. The closure includes Highway 1.

Violators are facing a fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

The order expires "when the Dolan Fire is fully contained and controlled."

The closure is described as: "The boundary of the Dolan Fire Closure Area begins near Timber Top following the North Coast Ridge Road (20S05) east to Cold Spring Camp and the Big Sur Trail. Continuing eastward, the closure boundary follows the South Fork Trail (3E09) to the Marble Peak Trail (4E07) where it intersects with the Arroyo Seco/Indians Road (19S09) and follows the road southeast to the National Forest boundary and then southwest along the boundary to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (22S01) where it heads west along the northern edge of the road to Highway 1. The closure boundary then heads north along Highway 1 where it intersects the National Forest boundary near Limekiln State Parks and follows the boundary back to the beginning of the Closure Area"

UPDATE 8/23/2020 The Dolan Fire grew to 19,287 acres Sunday morning. Containment remained at 10% as of 8:45 a.m.

488 fire personnel are on scene.

UPDATE 8/21/2020

The Dolan Fire grew to 14,000 acres Saturday morning.

The fire burning in Big Sur is 10% contained as of 10 a.m.

400 fire personnel are on the scene. Hotshot crews are working to set a perimeter on the north side of the fire where the fire had jumped the roadway.

Fire crews will spend Saturday scouting locations to lay direct and indirect fire lines, the Los Padres National Forest Service said.

The forest service warned that Tropical Depression Genevieve could cause some more active fire behavior as it moves into the area, bringing "unstable winds." Saturday's forecast includes lower temperatures and mostly cloudy skies.

Currently, the fire is threatening the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge and Lucia.

Highway 1 is closed on the northbound side near mile marker 38/Troy Canyon. Southbound Highway 1 is closed at Hermitage.

For the latest evacuation orders and warnings in Monterey County, view the map below.

UPDATE 8/20/2020 11:15 a.m. The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said it estimates that the Dolan Fire in Big Sur has grown to 6,500 acres.

They did not provide information about containment.

A suspect, Ivan Gomez, has been arrested on arson charges in connection to the fire.

UPDATE 8/19/2020 3:45 p.m. State Parks announced that several parks will close in the Big Sur area due to the Dolan Ridge Fire.

The fire has led to closures on Highway 1, so the public is not able to access many of the parks.

All campgrounds, day use areas and hiking trails are closed to visitors at these parks:

  • John Little State Natural Reserve
  • Limekiln State Park
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
  • Andrew Molera State Park
  • Point Sur State Historic Park
  • Garrapata State Park
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

The closures are in effect until further notice.

At the last update, officials said the fire was 2,500 acres and evacuations are in place on the east side of Dolan Canyon.

UPDATE 8/19/2020 12:15 p.m. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said State Parks has arrested a man on arson charges in connection to the Dolan Ridge Fire.

The suspect is Fresno resident 30-year-old Ivan Gomez. The Sheriff's Office said Gomez was first detained near the origin of the fire at about 8 p.m. Tuesday in the John Little State Natural Reserve.

He is booked into the Monterey County Jail for arson of forest lands and held on $2 million bail.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 831-755-3773.

The Dolan Ridge Fire was 2,500 acres as of the last update. Evacuations are in place on the east side of Dolan Canyon.

Ivan Gomez

PREVIOUS STORY: The Dolan Ride Fire in Big Sur is at 2500 acres and burning in all directions.

Officials say evacuations are taking place on the east side of Dolan Cyn. Hwy 1 is closed on the south at Lucia & north at Julia Pfeiffer Burns.


A third Monterey County fire has been reported Tuesday night.

The California Highway Patrol said this fire is in Big Sur on Dolan Ridge just East of the Esalen Institute.

The Monterey County Sheriff's Office confirms that there are evacuation orders in the area. They also said State Parks has detained someone, but did not say why.

This is a developing story. Keep checking back for updates.

A satellite image from NWS Bay Area shows the River Fire, the Carmel Fire and the fire reported in Big Sur.
Monterey County / News / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


1 Comment

  1. ENOUGH of this from ALL news media! I get that firefighters talk in terms of acres, small pieces of land they can use to calculate fire fighting progress. But 122,178 acres means NOTHING to 999 out of 1,000 people. PLEASE, media, say it at least additionally in a term people can relate to, namely SQUARE MILES, which also has FAR more impact! 122,178 is 190 Square Miles! WOW! That is like a patch 5 miles wide and almost 40 miles long! THAT people can understand. Yes, there are 640 acres in a square mile. And basically almost no one KNOWS that. And thus all the acreage numbers from media falls on deaf ears. Thank you!

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