The Dolan Fire burning south of Big Sur in Monterey County grew by 1,802 acres since Saturday, but firefighters were able to increase containment as well, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire has charred 117,242 acres as of Sunday morning, destroying 19 structures and damaging four others, authorities said in a Sunday morning update. The blaze is now 40% contained, up from 30% on Saturday, according to the Forest Service.
A reporting change led to the increased number of structures burned. Since the beginning of the fire, four structures have been damaged and 14 residences destroyed, according to the Forest Service. Five non-residential structures, like barns or outbuildings, have also been destroyed and were added to the overall number Sunday, the Forest Service said.
The thick layer of smoke and the marine layer over the fire thinned out Saturday afternoon, which caused the fire to pick up speed, crews said. Firefighters concentrated on the Arroyo Seco area, which is near the northeast tip of the fire, and the U.S. Army Fort Hunter Liggett remote training area, which is around the southeast tip of the fire, according to the Forest Service.
The northwest and western edges of the Dolan Fire are in “patrol status,” meaning firefighters are patrolling the edges of the fire and monitoring the fire’s perimeter to ensure it does not cross containment lines.
As of Sunday, 756 personnel are attached to the fire. Crews will initiate several burn operations, where they will burn a section of forest around the Dolan Fire to decrease its fuel and eventually stop its forward progress.
Firefighters also will work to secure the edge of the fire near Hermitage to protect structures, according to the Forest Service.
Several evacuations are in place and enforced by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. For an updated information, visit the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services Dolan Fire Evacuation Zones map here.
To receive emergency notifications regarding evacuations and critical events in Monterey County, sign up for A!ert Monterey County.
Air quality alert issued for San Luis Obispo County
Smoke has once again filled the skies of San Luis Obispo County from wildfires burning throughout California.
The county Air Pollution Control District and Public Health Department sent out the warning — which is in effect through Monday — urging people to stay inside over the weekend if possible.
“Until many of the large fires burning are put out, SLO County can expect skies to be hazy and fine particulate (PM 2.5) concentrations and ozone to be higher than normal,” the county said in a news release. “We may also see high levels of larger particulates (ash) to be present as well.
“Changing winds make it difficult to predict which areas of the county may be most affected. However, until the fires are put out, elevated air pollution levels will likely be intermittently present in our region.”
The air district urged residents in areas with smoke and falling ash to take the following precautions:
Head indoors and remain indoors, if possible.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
How to help wildfire victims
Thousands of people have had to evacuate due to the fires in Monterey County, and many are unsure when or if they will be able to return home.
The Community Foundation for Monterey County created a Monterey County Fire Relief Fund to help those affected by the Dolan, River and Salinas fires. Donations can be made online, via phone at 831-375-9712 or by mail at Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940. (Make checks payable to the foundation and note “Monterey County Fire Relief,” “Carmel Valley Relief” or “Big Sur Relief” in the memo line.)
Supplies can also be donated directly at Seaside High School, 2200 Noche Buena St. in Seaside, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Additional volunteer and donation information can be found at MontereyCo.Recovers.org.