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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Dolan, Big Sur
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: LPF
  • Size (acres): 128,417
  • Percent Contained: 57%
  • Estimate of Containment: October 13, 2020
  • Personnel: 525
  • Structures Destroyed: 19

Dolan, Los Padres NF, USFS. IMT 2 (CA Team 15). Ten miles south of Big Sur, CA. Brush, chaparral and short grass. Moderate fire behavior with uphill runs, flanking and creeping. Numerous residences and communication infrastructure threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect.

September 26, 2020 at 12:16 PM

Firefighters had another successful day with minimal fire activity yesterday which allowed them to make good progress on holding and securing McKern Road to increase containment on the Dolan Fire.

With winds forecasted out of the north today, crews are continuing the methodical work of mopping up, holding and securing the southern fire perimeter. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 90s and will continue an upward trend in the next several days potentially reaching triple digits on Monday. Extremely hot and dry conditions could mean pockets of heat ignite into flames and increase fire behavior. Firefighters remain diligent watching for any increase in fire behavior from numerous vantage points on the Dolan Fire that covers approximately 200 square miles along the Central Coast. With a mantra of “seek and destroy” firefighters continue the use infrared technology in conjunction with aerial reconnaissance to find pockets of heat and send crews in to attack hot spots near the perimeter. Fire managers are able to use a variety of tools to tackle these hot spots including sending crews and equipment on UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicle) to access the fire in rugged terrain or providing the ongoing support of helicopters doing water drops for fire in more inaccessible areas.

September 24, 2020 at 7:34 AM

Fire behavior was moderate across the Dolan Fire yesterday. While pockets of unburned fuel burned in the interior of the fire area, helicopters were dispatched to cool hot spots on the northeast portion of the uncontained fire perimeter. Firefighters are not able to access this portion of the fire to put in direct fire line due to the challenging and rugged terrain. A helitack crew was brought in by air to work a hot spot on Junipero Serra Peak to prevent the spread of the fire to the north as hot and dry conditions persist.

Infrared technology has helped fire managers identify areas of heat near the fire perimeter and around structures along Highway 1. Today crews will continue to patrol the highway and will be working in the Pacific Valley area to ensure that heat sources are identified and structures are secured. Firefighters are also patrolling and cooling hot spots along McKern Road to secure the southern portion of the fire and are working with Fort Hunter Liggett to continue looking for opportunities to improve containment lines on the east side of the fire.

September 23, 2020 at 7:12 AM

California Interagency Incident Management 15 took command of the Dolan Fire last night at 6:00 p.m. The Dolan Fire remained active in pockets of green, unburned fuel in the interior of the fire area yesterday. Heavy helicopters dropped 10,000 gallons of retardant on the north side of Junipero Serra Peak to moderate fire behavior and keep the fire in check in that area.

Today firefighters will continue to monitor containment lines and remain vigilant for increased fire behavior in the interior and on the uncontrolled fire perimeter on the northeast portion of the fire. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 90s today, increasing to the high 90s and possibly triple digits by the weekend.

Heavy helicopters are available to assist firefighters on the ground in cooling hot spots in the inaccessible portions of the fire while firefighters continue to patrol the perimeter and mop-up along McKern Road to contain the southern portion of the fire. Local crews are making good progress backhauling supplies from the fire line to the Incident Command Post. These hoses, pumps, portable water tanks, etc. will be inspected, cleaned and repackaged to be dispatched to other critical wildfire incidents across the west.

September 22, 2020 at 8:41 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES:  Caltrans, in coordination with Monterey County, reopened Highway 1 from Gorda to Lucia yesterday at 6:00 p.m. This section of the highway had been closed for approximately four weeks for public safety related to fire suppression activities on the Dolan Fire. There are still pockets of heat near the highway that will be monitored by fire personnel using infrared technology. Travelers are advised to continue using caution and be aware of emergency vehicles in the area. 

As a reminder, the Los Padres National Forest remains closed at this time. For more information visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Firefighters will continue to monitor the perimeter of the Dolan Fire today. Where necessary, they will also be cooling hot spots along uncontained fire lines on the northeast portion of the fire with helicopters. Additionally, crews will continue the backhaul of equipment from around the fire area back to the Incident Command Post in King City. 

Increasingly hot and dry temperatures are forecasted today and in the coming days. While there is concern that rising temperatures could increase fire behavior, the methodical work of firefighters to contain this fire by constructing containment and contingency lines and monitoring the fire perimeter, has helped prepare for these conditions. Firefighters will continue to use all available tools to limit the growth of this fire to protect communities and private property. 

Fire behavior in the interior of the fire area may increase with unburned pockets of green vegetation that can burn in the days and weeks ahead, producing smoke in localized areas. Residents and visitors to this area can expect to see fire activity like this until a season ending event of significant rain fully contains and controls the Dolan Fire. This weather event typically occurs in early-to-mid November. 

Pacific Northwest Team 2 will transfer command of the Dolan Fire today at 6:00 p.m. to California Interagency Incident Management 15, a Type 2 Incident Management Team with Incident Commander James Harris.
 
EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has evacuations ORDERS and WARNINGS in effect. For current evacuation information view the OES interactive map or call 211. SPCA Monterey County can assist with rescuing, sheltering, and evacuating animals. Call 831-373-2631 – day; 831-264-5455 – night; www.spcamc.org.  

ROAD CLOSURES: Nacimiento-Ferguson Road is closed to all traffic from Highway 1 to the Fort Hunter Liggett base boundary line. For more information visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/.   

September 20, 2020 at 12:01 PM

Firefighters continued the process of bringing fire down the steep slopes along Highway 1 on the coastal side of the Dolan Fire yesterday. They specifically worked the area from Kirk Creek moving north to connect to firing operations to the containment lines along the road. Crews made good progress on this part of the fire and ignitions are nearly complete.

The east side of the fire had isolated pockets of heat, including the northeast portion of the fire around the Arroyo Seco River. Helicopters were called in to drop water on these hot spots and they’ll continue to be monitored by fire managers.

Today’s Activities: The Incident Meteorologist (IMET) is forecasting continued warming with temperatures in the low 90s on the inland side of the fire for the next several days. Winds will be out of the northwest.

Along the fire perimeter from Arroyo Seco to Junipero Peak, air operations will keep a vigilant eye on possible fire movement and continue to respond with air support to cool hot spots with water. Retardant will also be available from the mobile retardant base in Arroyo Seco to use to moderate fire behavior. In addition to the Arroyo Seco area, firefighters will also pay close attention to any hot spots flaring up along the eastern perimeter near Pine Canyon.

Crews have nearly completed the process of bringing fire down to Highway 1 to contain the western flank of the fire. This road remains hazardous in these conditions and firefighters will continue working with CalTrans to remove falling rocks, rollout, and snags along Highway 1. There is currently no estimate of when the road will reopen at this time.

While the Dolan Fire area encompasses about 200 square miles, there has been little growth on the fire in the past few days aside from carefully planned burnout operations to contain the uncontrolled fire perimeter. While firefighters continue to patrol containment lines, local crews will begin the process of removing hoses, pumps, portable tanks and other equipment from North Coast Ridge Road and Highway 1 and along McKern Road. This equipment is no longer needed for suppression activities and will be sent back to fire caches where they can be inspected, cleaned and then used by another wildfire currently burning in the west.

September 18, 2020 at 8:21 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES: With cloud cover from a high pressure system that passed over the fire area moderating fire activity, firefighters were able to successfully complete the burnout operation along McKern Road on the south side of the Dolan Fire yesterday. The burnout connected the black contained perimeter of the fire at Nacimiento-Ferguson Road west to Highway 1.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Forecasted 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. Executing this burnout was a critical step in containing the southern portion of the Dolan Fire and the next few days will be spent holding and improving this fire line and monitoring for spot fires.

Crews along Highway 1 continue the work of bringing fire down the rugged terrain along the highway and through the Pacific Valley community. Firefighters on the fully contained northwest portion of the fire will transition down to this portion of the fire to assist in these ignitions and focus efforts to containing this portion of the fire as quickly and safely as possible.

With predicted temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s, fire behavior is expected to be minimal around the fire today. While structure preparations are complete around Arroyo Seco, helicopters continue to respond to any flare ups to prevent the fire from crossing the river. Contingency fire lines in are in place outside of the community and along Arroyo Seco Road, but fire managers continue to look for opportunities for crews to safely engage the fire on the south side of the river.

The east side of the fire remains quiet with pockets of heat where heavy timber is burning close to fire lines. Crews monitor these hot spots and bring in helicopters to drop water and minimize the threat of the fire jumping containment lines. Firefighters have also completed contingency lines and structure preparations around Coleman and Pine Canyons.

September 17, 2020 at 9:09 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES: Crews continued the process of bringing fire east along McKern Road yesterday. This plan has been put in place to join fire lines from Highway 1 to the contained fire perimeter on Nacimiento-Ferguson Road on the southeast portion of the fire. A spot fire escaped the fire lines and firefighters quickly responded, supported by two heavy helicopters dropping water to prevent the spread. 

Structure protection work continued in Arroyo Seco with the assistance of CalFire. Additionally, heavy equipment operators have been working to reopen fire lines north of Arroyo Seco from the 2017 Soberanes Fire.  

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: On the south side of the fire, firefighters expect to complete the burnout operation on McKern road today to the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. Crews along the road will be assisted by helicopters again today cooling hot spots along the fire line. This burnout operation was executed in anticipation of today’s forecasted weather change with winds now coming out of the northwest around noon.  

CalFire and crews assigned to the incident have completed structure preparation efforts in Arroyo Seco but will continue to look for opportunities to improve that work and test equipment to ensure generators and sprinklers are working properly if forecasted winds begin pushing fire towards the community. Structure protection work will also continue in Tassajara. Aerial resources were able to both assist firefighting efforts on the ground to cool hot spots and also to scout for opportunities for crews to put in control lines in the steep, rugged terrain of the Arroyo Seco drainage. There are still no plans for a burnout operation from Arroyo Seco at this time unless wind and weather conditions push fire managers to execute a contingency plan to burnout around that area for the safety of the public and to protect private property.  

Dozers from CalFire and Ft. Hunter Liggett are continuing the construction of fire line from Arroyo Seco to Coleman Canyon area where structure protection work continues. Crews are using the 2008 Indian Fire scar as a control feature if forecasted winds begin to push the fire east toward homes, private property and other values at risk. 

Crews are continuing the methodical work of slowly bringing fire through structures in the Pacific Valley area down to Highway 1. Aerial ignitions continue to assist firefighters on the ground by safely igniting the steep hillside so fire backs down to the Highway.

EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has evacuations ORDERS and WARNINGS in effect. For current evacuation information view the OES interactive map or call 211. SCPA Monterey County can assist with rescuing, sheltering, and evacuating animals. Call 831-373-2631 – day; 831-264-5455 – night; www.spcamc.org

ROAD CLOSURES: HWY 1 is closed between mile post 25 and mile post 10. Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd is closed to all traffic from Highway 1 to the Fort Hunter Liggett base boundary line. For more information visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/. REGIONAL FOREST CLOSURES: Regional Order No. 20-10 USDA Forest Service. All National Forest Lands are closed to public entry in California.  

WEATHER: A forecasted high pressure weather system will begin moving through the fire area this afternoon and evening, bringing hotter temperatures to the eastern portion of the fire area which will increase fire behavior. The system will also change the wind direction from a southwesterly low to a north westerly flow.  

September 16, 2020 at 8:44 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES: Firefighters began a burnout operation to tie in the southern portion of the fire from Highway 1 to the black containment line on southeast portion of the fire area yesterday. Crews began the methodical process of joining the burnout operation from Prewitt Ridge down to the highway through the Pacific Valley subdivision, along Prewitt Ridge to McKern Road. 

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Firefighters will continue the burnout operation on McKern Road today. Crews and heavy equipment spent several days preparing roads to be used as containment lines on a planned burnout that is intended to prevent the fire from moving south of McKern and Nacimiento-Ferguson Roads. Ignitions that began along Prewitt Ridge yesterday will progress slowly east today with firefighters along McKern Road using water to cool the perimeter. Fixed wing aircraft will be available for retardant drops to moderate fire behavior and helicopters could potentially assist with aerial ignitions to fill in areas of unburned fuel. This burnout operation is expected to take a few days to complete depending on wind and weather conditions.  

CalFire and structure protection crews assigned to the incident have nearly completed structure protection work in Arroyo Seco and are continuing to prioritize that work for Tassajara as well. Helicopters assisted firefighters on the ground by cooling hot spots in the Arroyo Seco drainage yesterday and will continue to be available to pick up hot spots today. Firefighters will continue working to keep fire south and east of the river. There are no plans for a burnout operation from Arroyo Seco at this time unless wind and weather conditions push fire managers to execute a contingency plan to burnout around that area for the safety of the public and to protect private property. 

Dozers from CalFire and Ft. Hunter Liggett are continuing the construction of fire line from Arroyo Seco along the base of Paloma Ridge and Pine Canyon and using the 2008 Indian Fire scar as a control feature. These fire lines are available if a possible burnout operation is necessary to prevent the fire from moving farther east into Pine Canyon.  

There’s a forecasted wind change on Thursday from generally southerly winds to northwest/west winds. While wind speeds are not predicted to increase, the change of direction could push fire farther east. Hot and dry conditions will persist inland and on the east side of the fire area and firefighters are expecting very active fire behavior.

EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has evacuations ORDERS and WARNINGS in effect. For current evacuation information view the OES interactive map or call 211. SCPA Monterey County can assist with rescuing, sheltering, and evacuating animals. Call 831-373-2631 – day; 831-264-5455 – night; www.spcamc.org

ROAD CLOSURES: HWY 1 is closed between mile post 25 and mile post 10. Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd is closed to all traffic from Highway 1 to the Fort Hunter Liggett base boundary line. For more information visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/. REGIONAL FOREST CLOSURES: Regional Order No. 20-10 USDA Forest Service. All National Forest Lands are closed to public entry in California.  

WEATHER: The marine layer has been difficult to forecast but generally, there has been decreasing coverage, especially inland where temperatures are getting hotter with lower relative humidities throughout the day. Continued winds out of the southwest. 

September 14, 2020 at 9:19 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES: Line construction along the ridge above Pine Canyon continued to hold the fire north of communities. Crews began a burnout operation off of constructed containment lines on the southern end of Prewitt Ridge in an effort to prevent the fire from moving south of McKern Ridge. Structure protection continued around Arroyo Seco yesterday. Fire behavior remained minimal overnight with some more moderate behavior around Nacimiento Campground. At 6:00 p.m. last night, Pacific Northwest Team 2 and Fort Hunter Liggett is now in unified command with CalFire. This will improve coordination and add personnel to suppression efforts across the fire.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Southwest winds are expected to challenge firefighters again today, pushing fire into the Arroyo Seco drainage. Several CalFire resources will immediately add capacity to the structure protection work in Arroyo Seco in addition to assisting with the construction of containment lines on the east side of the fire.

One of the top priorities for today will be for dozers to construct fire line between Prewitt and McKern ridges to keep fire from moving south of McKern Ridge. Steep, rugged terrain, extremely dry fuels and windy conditions will increase fire behavior above the marine layer today and aerial resources will assist firefighting efforts on the ground when conditions are favorable for flying to cool hot spots.

A heavy marine layer should moderate fire behavior on the coastal side of the Dolan Fire today, giving firefighters an opportunity to improve containment lines and continue mop-up. Firefighters will strengthen lines off of Prewitt Ridge and continue mop-up around structures. With the heavy marine layer, the fire is expected to back down to South Coast Highway 1 and firefighters will monitor structures in the area to ensure that fire behavior remains low.

EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office has evacuations ORDERS and WARNINGS in effect. For current evacuation information view the OES interactive map or call 211. SCPA Monterey County can assist with rescuing, sheltering, and evacuating animals. Call 831-373-2631 – day; 831-264-5455 – night; www.spcamc.org.

ROAD CLOSURES: HWY 1 is closed between mile post 25 and mile post 10. Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd is closed to all traffic from Highway 1 to the Fort Hunter Liggett base boundary line. For more information visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/. REGIONAL FOREST CLOSURES: Regional Order No. 20-10 USDA Forest Service. All National Forest Lands are closed to public entry in California.

WEATHER: Thinning of smoke and lifting of marine layer will lead to increased fire activity today. Increased temperatures and terrain driven winds are predicted throughout the day.

September 13, 2020 at 9:57 AM

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITIES: Thinning of smoke and lifting of the marine layer over the fire led to increased fire activity yesterday afternoon. Crews, engines, dozers and aircraft responded to the Arroyo Seco area and Fort Hunter Liggett as a result of increased active fire behavior. Retardant drops were utilized along the southwest edge to help slow the fire’s progression while crews brought the fire down to South Coast Highway 1 securing that edge of the fire. A Mobile Retardant Base (MRB) was set up yesterday in Arroyo Seco to support fire crews on the ground.

Overnight firefighters focused on bolstering structure protection around Arroyo Seco and continued firefighting efforts on Fort Hunter Liggett. Burn operations held overnight on the southern edge of the fire in the Prewitt Ridge area. The northwest and western edges of the fire along Highway 1 are in patrol status. The rest of the fire was relatively quiet overnight.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Direct and indirect actions along the eastern and southern perimeters continue including connecting control lines and initiate burn operations. Firefighters will scout control opportunities with the highest probability of success to tie in the Sobranes Fire scar to Arroyo Seco River. Burn operations will continue as conditions allow around structures and values at risk to remove unburned fuels between the main fire and control lines in the Arroyo Seco. Line construction along the ridge above Pine Canyon will continue over the next several days to hold the fire west or north of communities.

Along the south edge firefighters will continue burnout operations utilizing dozer lines and air support to connect line on Prewitt Ridge. Dozer work will continue on McKern Ridge to extend control line down to Highway 1. Firefighters will clean up and secure the edge around recent firing operations near Hermitage to protect structures. Significant heat remains throughout the fire area as fuels continue to burn.

Structure protection and hoselays will remain in place around Partington community as resources shift to the south and eastern sides of the fire. The northeast and western edges are in patrol status. Nationwide fire resources are stretched thin.

September 9, 2020 at 8:15 AM

A fire shelter deployment of 14 firefighters occurred in the vicinity of the Naciemento Guard StaGon injuring three, one criGcally. The injured firefighters were transported by helicopter to the hospital in Fresno for treatment. All three firefighters are reported to be in stable condiGon. The fire burned very acGvely from the aVernoon through the enGre evening on the eastern and southern edges.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES: Winds will shiV from the north to the south/southwest as a marine layer spreads over the fire area brining cooler temperatures and higher relaGve humidity levels to lower evaluaGons. 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 idenGfy possible opportuniGes for containment lines uGlizing the 2008 Indian Fire burn scar. If weather permits burn operaGons will happen on the southern and eastern perimeter of the fire. Crews will conGnue to hold and improve exisGng lines in the northern perimeter. Structure protecGon conGnues in all affected communiGes. The fire will conGnue to burn acGvely to the south and rapid rates of spread can be expected especially in areas where drainages are aligned with the winds above the marine layer.

EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriff’s has Mandatory evacuaGon orders for Lucia Zone B and Prewi= Ridge Zone J; Memorial Park FS Summer homes; Zone K South Coastal Ridge Road; Zone L Gorda. EvacuaGon warning in Zone 27. Advisory evacuaGon status are in effect in zone 24 east of Arroyo Seco Road; Zone M Salmon Creek Falls. View the interacGve map on the Monterey Office of Emergency Services website for Monterey County evacuaGons.

ROAD CLOSURE: HWY 1 is closed from north of Vista Point south to Pacific Valley. Naciemneto-Ferguson Rd Is closed to all traffic from Highway 1 to the Fort Hunter Ligge= base boundary line. Los Burros Road, Plaske= Ridge Road, South Coast Ridge Road are closed except to residents. Visit h=ps://roads.dot.ca.gov/

FOREST CLOSURE: Forest Order Number 05-07-51-20-20 remains in effect on the Forest in the vicinity of the fire.

September 6, 2020 at 12:44 PM

Fighting the fire will not be the only hazard crews face today. Record breaking temperatures are predicted. Crews will challenged with a high ignition probability and heat exhaustion potential.

Firefighters will scout containment line options in the Arroyo Seco drainage and Avia Ranch area. Crews will strengthen containment lines along McWay Ridge and within the Lucia and Hermitage areas, and complete the primary lines north of the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road and along the road to Cone Peak.

If conditions allow, a planned burnout operation will be used in the next few days to tie containment line into the fire’s edge. Dozers, hand crews and masticators will work on additional contingency lines farther south. Helicopters will be available to support ground crews.

Structure protection along Highway 1 in the Partington area north and in the Lucia and Hermitage areas to the south will continue throughout the day.

EVACUATIONS: The Monterey County Sheriffs office has an Evacuation Order in effect for Zone B (Lucia) and Zone J (Prewitt Ridge). Warning are in effect for Zone C (Partington) and Zones K-S (Coast Ridge Road). Yesterday Zone A was downgraded to a warning. View the interactive map for Monterey County evacuations.

ROAD CLOSURE:  Highway 1 is closed from north of Vista Point south to Pacific Valley. Visit https://roads.dot.ca.gov/

FOREST CLOSURE:  Forest Order Number 05-07-51-20-20 remains in effect on the Forest in the vicinity of the fire.

WEATHER: Record breaking temperatures are predicted for today. Temperatures in the 90’s along the coast and 120 degrees inland are predicted. Lower relative humidities across the area are expected and winds are forecast to remain mild.

September 4, 2020 at 9:10 AM

The marine layer and relative cooler temperatures that have kept fire activity moderate will be lowering and dissipating over the weekend. Although limited fire spread occurred the last several days, the increased heat and drier conditions throughout the fire area forecast for the weekend is expected to increase fire behavior.

The fire continues to move to the south and east within the Ventana Wilderness, increasing by several hundred acres overnight. Hotshot crews are now working in this area, building hand line along the fire’s edge. Crews are also scouting the Lost Valley area to determine the best location to tie into the southern line. Containment lines on the northern and southern perimeters are holding well and fire fighters continue to improve those lines along McWay Ridge and within the Lucia and Hermitage areas. Crews continue to work on the primary containment line north of the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road and along the road to Cone Peak. This indirect line will serve as the primary containment line, intended to keep the fire from spreading south toward nearby structures. If conditions allow, a planned burnout operation will be used to tie this line into the fire’s edge. Dozers, hand crews and masticators are also working on additional contingency lines farther south. Better visibility will allow for additional helicopter support where needed. Crews continue to patrol Highway 1 for rolling debris and increased fire behavior.

Firefighters continue with structure protection all along Highway 1, in the Partington area north, and in the Lucia and Hermitage areas to the south. Currently in the fire there are: 6 Type 1 Hotshot crews, 3 Type 2 hand crews, 62 engines, 6 dozers, 12 helicopters, 18 water tenders, 4 masticators, and a variety of other equipment to support firefighting efforts.

September 3, 2020 at 9:40 AM

The Pacific Northwest 2 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Dolan Fire this morning following a successful transition with California Incident Management Team 2. Thank you to Incident Commander Mike Minton and his entire team for their expert management and work to date.

The marine inversion layer kept fire activity minimal overnight, active fire in the east and south ends especially around Cone Peak. Although limited fire spread has occurred over the last few days, the excessive heat watch forecast for this weekend is expected to increase fire behavior. Firefighters continue to bolster containment lines in the northern and southern perimeters, mopping up and increasing the line depth along McWay Ridge and within the Lucia and Hermitage areas. Crews continue to work on the primary containment line north of the Naciemento-Ferguson Road and along the road to Cone Peak. This indirect line will serve as the primary containment line to keep the fire from spreading to the south toward nearby structures. Dozers, hand crews and masticators are also working on additional contingency lines farther south. Overnight crews continued improving lines and patrolling Highway 1 for roll outs and increased fire behavior. Crews began building direct line in the eastern edge of the fire within the Ventana Wilderness yesterday.

Firefighters continue with structure protection all along Highway 1, in the Partington area north, and in the Lucia and Hermitage areas to the south. Currently on the fire there are: 5 Type 1 Hotshot crews, 8 Type 2 hand crews, 60 engines, 10 dozers, 10 helicopters, 8 water tenders, 2 masticators, and a variety of other equipment to support firefighting efforts.

September 2, 2020 at 10:40 AM

Effective immediately the evacuation order in place for Partington Zone C has been downgraded to an evacuation warning. Access is permitted only for residents due to fire equipment and emergency personnel in the area. The evacuation warning area for Zone C is as follows:

  • Highway 1 at Anderson Canyon. (Post mile 35)
  • North to: Highway 1 at Torre Canyon. (Post Mile 39)
  • West of Highway 1 to the Pacific Ocean.
  • East Highway 1 to North Coast Ridge Road to include Partington Ridge Road.

All other Evacuation Orders are still in place for Dolan Ridge Zone A, Lucia Zone B and Prewitt Ridge Zone J.

September 2, 2020 at 9:59 AM

Overnight saw calm conditions and fire activity was minimal. Crews were able to continue to enhance containment lines and hold previous work. Today’s weather forecasts a marine layer up to 2,000 feet which could linger through most of the day, suppressing fire activity in the fire’s lower elevations. Above 2,000 feet weather is expected to continue to be warmer and drier with light winds throughout the day. An infrared flight was completed last night showing fire growth of a few hundred acres.

Last night crews in the north end of the fire continued reinforcing containment lines along McWay Ridge and “mopping up” (ensuring areas where fire has moved through had little potential to burn again). In the Partington area crews finished clearing around infrastructure and constructing indirect line. Crews also patrolled along Highway 1 and continued to keep fire out of Lucia and the Hermitage and worked on the southern contingency lines.

Today’s deeper inversion is expected to hold smoke over the fire area which may inhibit helicopter support into some areas during much of the day. The inversion will help to keep fire activity lower and potential spotting to fifty feet or less. Much of the fire is currently backing down slopes, burning vegetation at a much lower intensity. Rolling material (burning logs and vegetation) moving off the extremely steep slopes and igniting unburned fuels below continues to be the primary cause of fire growth.

Most of the fire growth is occurring in the Ventana Wilderness and the area around Cone Peak. Today’s plan is to insert several Hot Shot crews into the wilderness to begin direct line construction in that area. Crews will also continue work on the contingency line south of Prewitt Ridge between South Coast Ridge Road and Highway 1 and a half mile south of Alms Ridge. Both dozers and hand crews are being used to build the primary line on “No Name Ridge” which runs west to Highway 1 from the Cone Peak Road. This line is north of Nacimiento Fergusson Road.

An excessive heat watch has been issued for this area and temperatures are expected to be in the 90’s along the coast and low hundreds inland from Friday through Monday afternoon. Winds are forecast to remain mild. Fire activity is expected to increase with this change in weather conditions. Firefighting operations are being adjusted as necessary to ensure continued and increased containment throughout the weekend.

September 2, 2020 at 7:34 AM

Yesterday saw minimal forward movement in most of the fire area. Much of the fire is currently backing down slopes, burning vegetation at a much lower intensity. The primary cause of the fire expansion was rolling material (burning logs and vegetation) moving off the extremely steep slopes and igniting unburned fuels below. Crews continued to build contingency lines both by hand and with dozers in the south area of the fire. Much of the northern line is now contained and helicopters were able to do some water drops on the eastern most flank of the fire in the Ventana Wilderness. Suppression repair work also began today in the Lucia area.

Crews continued work along the north section of the fire, patrolling and putting out hot spots near the containment lines along McWay Ridge at North Coast Ridge Road. The line has been completed and unburned vegetation has been fired out. Firefighters have also completed clearing of vegetation and other fuels around infrastructure in the Partington area. Much of this area is now contained and crews are moving to other priorities.

The southern containment lines near Lucia are holding well and suppression repair work has begun in this area. A contingency line south of Prewitt Ridge between South Coast Ridge Road and Highway 1 and a half mile south of Alms Ridge was started. Crews continued to work on the primary indirect containment line north of Naciemento Ferguson Road and along the road to Cone Peak. Both dozers and hand crews are being used to build this line on “No Name Ridge” which runs east and west to Highway 1 from the Cone Peak Road.

The east side of the fire continues to burn further into the Ventana Wilderness. Helicopters were able to do some water drops in the Lost Valley area today once the smoke cleared in the late afternoon. The fire is primarily backing in this area and crews hope to build hand line along the fire perimeter, going direct, to minimize the fire size and expansion. The crews will remain out near the fire’s edge (spiking out) and staying in this area for several days at a time. The heavy smoke and haze prevented hand crews from being dropped into this area today, but the plan is to get crews into the wilderness as soon as possible now that the northern perimeter is contained and excellent progress is being made on the southern edge of the fire.

An excessive heat watch has been issued for this area and temperatures are expected to be in the 90’s along the coast and low hundreds inland from Friday through Monday afternoon. Winds are forecast to remain mild. Fire activity is expected to increase with this change in weather conditions and firefighting operations are being adjusted as necessary to ensure continued and increased containment throughout the weekend.

August 31, 2020 at 1:30 PM

Due to the continued spread of the Dolan Fire to the southeast, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with Dolan Fire incident management team and Monterey County OES has declared an Evacuation Order effective immediately for the following area:

South of Nacimiento Fergussen Road; west of South Coast Ridge to Prewitt Ridge, including Alms Ridge

An Evacuation Order signals an immediate threat to life and safety. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access. An interactive map of the area can be found on the Monterey County OES website

As a result of this extension the road closure for Highway one will be relocated to the area of Sand Dollar Day Use area.

All other Dolan Evacuation Orders remain in place.

August 31, 2020 at 9:37 AM

Last night’s marine layer helped decrease fire activity. Crews conducted a tactical firing option along the north section, to reinforce the containment line along the McWay drainage. Firefighters cleared vegetation and other fuels around infrastructure in the Partington area.

Fire activity is increasing along the southeast section. Firefighters are working on containment lines around the Twin Peak area, including along the Nacimiento Fergusson Road which will potentially be used to stop the spread of the fire as it burns south. Residence in the area may see or smell an increase in smoke as fire activity increases. Fire crews are constructing lines on the southeast corner of the fire to protect local communities and other values at risk.

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The east side continues to burn further into the Ventana Wilderness. As the north and south perimeters are secured, the firefighting effort will shift to address the fire’s movement into the Ventana Wilderness. The work on Nacimiento Fergusson Road and the forest trail and road system is the beginning of this effort.

Today three years ago, Los Padres National Forest Battalion Chief Gary Helming tragically lost his life while returning home from a fire assignment. Gary was killed when a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction blew a tire and swerved head-on into his vehicle. We can honor battalion chief Helming’s life by being extra cautious when traveling on roadways and ask the public to do the same. This is a reminder that driving safety is critical at all times.

Highway 1 remains closed. Firefighters and cooperating agencies are working diligently to open the road as soon as is safely possible. Rolling rocks are a continued safety concern throughout the highway closure. The public’s support is appreciated.

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.

Later this week California Interagency Incident Command Team 2 will transition command of the Dolan Fire to Pacific Northwest Team 2 (PNW2). PNW2 will shadow CIIMT2 on Wednesday and assume command of the incident Thursday morning.

August 29, 2020 at 10:30 AM

Crews have made good progress along the north, west, and south perimeters and the fire activity in those sections was relatively calm overnight. Good progress was made along McWay Ridge, including along the spot that had escaped the perimeter yesterday, and crews are cautiously optimistic that the line will hold.

The fire held around the Twin Peak area on the southeast edge. Firefighters continue to assess Cone Peak and will be analyzing the fire behavior to determine how they will attack the fire on that southeast edge. The east perimeter grew overnight and progressed over Lost Valley Creek.

Crews will patrol Highway 1 and work to contain more of the perimeter along the highway. The fire still threatens to burn towards the west side of the highway via drainages and underpasses. Rolling materials also pose a risk to roll onto or over the highway to the west side and could spark flames. Patrolling and working the fire along the highway remains a priority. The other priority is to protect the local communities in the north and south and crews will be actively working in those areas.

Fire activity will pick up around midmorning when the marine layer lifts. Smoke and fire impacts may be visible, especially in the afternoon. Expect the east perimeter of the fire to move east throughout the day.

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.

August 28, 2020 at 9:31 AM

Overnight the fire was active in the north, but crews worked to keep the fire contained, prioritizing the protection of local communities and infrastructure. Firefighters patrolled Highway 1 and kept the fire from spreading to the west side of the road. In the south, near Hermitage, crews were able to get a direct line along the fire, attacking it aggressively.

Crews continue to prioritize the north and the south sides of the fire 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.

Today, Hot Shot crews will be working from the top and bottom of McWay Ridge to secure the line to the north. The McWay Ridge is the primary control line for the northern area of the fire.

In the southeast, where fire southeasterly spread forced the abandonment of the planned line to Cone Peak, firefighters will be scouting the area for suitable trails or roads to re-engage. The point protection of structures in Hermitage will also be a focus.

Smoke will be visible, especially in the afternoon as the fog lifts. Fire activity will also increase as the marine layer lifts towards the afternoon. Road closures remain in place.

The fire continues to pose 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.

August 25, 2020 at 9:31 PM

There is a second spot in the south east corner of the fire, south of the big one we’ve been reporting on. This one is west of the Coast Ridge which is desirable because the ridge is where we can ultimately stop it. On the south we are going direct with dozers and hand line then they will take the line over to Cone Peak. On the north they are prepping McVay Ridge with dozers and hand line. They are also working out the slopover on the north east.

Typical late-August conditions prevailed once again today. In the morning, there was some low clouds and fog along the coastal side of the fire. By late morning, the clouds and fog dissipated, leaving sunny and smoky skies. Afternoon temperatures were in the 70s and 80s with humidity dropping down to the 35-55% range. Ridgetop winds were southeasterly with typical diurnal winds at lower elevations.

For tonight and Wednesday, the marine layer influence will continue along the coastal side of the fire with some low clouds and fog. Otherwise, clear and smoky skies are expected. Afternoon temperatures will be a few degrees warmer with an associated decrease in relative humidity. Typical diurnal winds are expected.

Crews in all divisions continue to construct direct/indirect control lines to prepare for burning out operations on the North and South ends of the fire. Crews will continue to evaluate need for point protection and structure defense.

Fire is burning on private land, the Los Padres National Forest Ventana wilderness. Fire is taking advantage of slope driven runs and dry fuel, moving up and down canyons, spotting and making runs, fire movement in all directions, ie. south, north, and east. Area tends to burn actively in the evening hours driven by mid slope thermal weather activity. Concern that the smoke inversion will lift and the fire activity will increase.

August 24, 2020 at 8:50 PM

The fire has crossed Mid Coast Ridge Road and is established on the east side at 200 to 300 acres.  This is approximately 1 mile east of Hot Springs Canyon.

The Red Flag Warning has been cancelled for today.

The fire actively burned throughout the night. Fire activity moderated in the early morning hours as humidity increased. An Infrared flight was flown last night which contributed to the stated increase in acres, with an estimated growth of 500 acres.

Overnight crews were able to complete indirect handline around the communities of Lucia, Morning Glory, and Partington. These handlines will provide additional protection and management options for firefighters in the event that fire progresses towards the structures.

Today, crews will continue to focus on point protection on the North, West, and South ends of the fire. Crews will also be constructing indirect lines to support future containment operations. The hazard of rolling rocks and spot fires continue to be safety concerns for crews in all divisions, especially along Hwy 1.

Aerial resources will look to take advantage of clear skies when possible to assist ground resources with retardant and bucket drops. As air quality and visibility improve, aviation assets will support crews on the ground.

Yesterday, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department entered into unified command with California Incident Management Team 2 and Big Sur Fire. The incident management team completed the move into a new incident command post at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

The fire is threatening the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge, and Lucia. Multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites are also threatened. Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness and coastal watershed and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor.

Fire activity in the western United States has caused a high demand for fire personnel and equipment. The nation is in Preparedness Level 5 (PL5), the highest level. In PL5 over 80% of the nation’s incident management teams and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to incidents. Resource orders are being prioritized to fires across California and the west. Acreage reported here is an estimate and will be updated when IR images are available.

August 23, 2020 at 10:18 PM

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect and will be in place until Monday evening, August 24, at 5:00 p.m. Thunderstorms with little to no precipitation are possible, particularly this evening and into the early morning, and will be accompanied by erratic and gusty outflow winds.

The fire is primarily backing, and the fire footprint has not significantly changed. Crews have made considerable progress creating dozer line to the North towards Partington Ridge. Crews began direct attack along the fire’s Southeast edge and continued point protection operations around Hermitage and Lucia. Today, firefighters secured more of the western perimeter of the fire along Hwy 1. Falling rocks and the potential of spot fires across the road remain as concerns on Hwy 1.

Aerial resources took advantage of clear skies to assist ground resources with retardant and bucket drops. However, smoke impacted air operations. As air quality and visibility improve, aviation assets will support crews on the ground.

Today, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department entered into unified command with California Incident Management Team 2 and Big Sur Fire. The incident management team completed the move into a new incident command post at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

The fire is threatening the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge, and Lucia. Multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites are also threatened. Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness and coastal watershed and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor.

Fire activity in the western United States has caused a high demand for fire personnel and equipment. The nation is in Preparedness Level 5 (PL5), the highest level. In PL5 over 80% of the nation’s incident management teams and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to incidents. Resource orders are being prioritized to fires across California and the west. Acreage reported here is an estimate and will be updated when IR images are available.

August 22, 2020 at 10:39 AM

Overnight point protection continued to be the focus of operations. Point protection refers to the preparation and defense of structures or other values in the fire’s path of spread. The three priorities for point protection are Hermitage, Partington Ridge and Anderson Peak communications infrastructure. As the threat diminishes and fire passes, these priorities will shift. As more resources arrive the operation will expand to include additional perimeter control operations. 

Hot Shot crews are working on perimeter control on the north end of the fire off North Coast Ridge Road, where the fire had burned over the road, these firefighters are building fire line directly on the fire’s edge to prevent the possibility of further spread. Containment along the west side of the fire (10% so far) is expected to increase over the next few days as firefighters assure that the line is secure. 

The fire remained active in the areas Hermitage and Lucia, along Highway 1, overnight. The fire spread slowly as fire backed down slope.  

Today, operations will continue to focus on point protection and scouting for locations to build direct and indirect fire line. Fire spread will be mainly to the south, laterally along the coast ridge. Smoke from other fires in the area is shading the Dolan Fire. Though the smoke makes it difficult to locate the exact perimeter of the fire, it has the benefit of decreasing the direct sunlight and dampening fire behavior. In areas above the layer of smoke, or when the smoke lifts, fire behavior will become more active. As Tropical Depression Genevieve moves into the area, unstable air will likely lift the smoke layer and result in more active fire behavior. 

The fire is threatening the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge, and Lucia. Multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites are also threatened. Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness and coastal watershed and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor. 

Fire activity in the western United States has caused a high demand for fire personnel and equipment. The nation is in Preparedness Level 5 (PL5), the highest level. In PL5 over 80% of the nation’s incident management teams and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to incidents. Resource orders are being prioritized to fires across California and the west. Aircraft that can map a fire using infrared imagery used to determine acreage have not yet flown the fire. Acreage reported here is an estimate and will be updated when IR images are available. 

Carmel Fire Info: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/18/carmel-fire/ 

River Fire Info: https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/8/16/river-fire/

August 21, 2020 at 9:26 PM

Fire activity has picked up this afternoon. On the south end of the fire, firefighters are protecting structures in the Hermitage area. The fire has slopped over the North Coast Ridge Road but firefighters feel that they will be able to pick up the area that has crossed the road.

There is a column of smoke over the north portion of the fire. This is coming from a drainage burning near Marble Peak is a drainage. The west side is still under smoke and haze and is not as active. 

The Dolan Fire was reported August 18, 2020, just after 8:00 p.m. Active Fire behavior was observed with long range spotting, uphill runs, flanking and backing fire. The fire was initially managed by local resources but due to the extensive history of large fires in the area, statewide resource issues and a high degree of complexity, a decision was quickly made to request a Type 1 incident management team. California Interagency Incident Management Team 2, under the command of Mike Minton entered into unified command with Big Sur Fire this morning at 6:00 a.m.

The fire is burning on private, state and federal lands, including the Ventana Wilderness. Fire behavior is expected to be much the same as it was yesterday. An inversion shaded the fire and limited fire growth but fire behavior was still active on peaks above the inversion. Due to the inversion, the helicopters assigned to the incident were unable to fly on the Dolan Fire yesterday. They were able to provide some assistance to the Carmel Fire.

Photo by K. Novoa and C. McCoy

Firefighters will take advantage of these weather conditions today as they continue their physical assessment of the fire area. Firefighters on scene will be using infrared imagery and physically scouting the area to locate the fire’s edge and barriers that could potentially be used as fire control line. The current control objectives are to keep the fire south of Partington Ridge, north of Nacimiento Fergusson Road, east of Highway 1, and west of Coast Ridge Road.

The fire is threatening the communities of Partington Ridge, Big Sur and Lucia. Multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites are also threatened. Among natural resources threatened are the Ventana Wilderness and coastal watershed and habitat for threatened and endangered species, including the California condor.

Fire activity in the western United States has caused a high demand for fire personnel and equipment. The nation is in Preparedness Level 5 (PL5), the highest level. In PL5 over 80% of the nation’s incident management teams and wildland firefighting personnel are committed to incidents. 

Weather: A low pressure trough will hold the inversion over the area today. Fire behavior will be similar to Thursday. With the arrival of Hurricane Genevieve in the Eastern Pacific on Saturday humidity will increase and air will become unstable potentially leading to more active fire behavior.

Evacuations / Closures: Click here for an interactive map of Monterey County evacuations.

The Partington Ridge community Evacuation Warning was upgraded to an Evacuation Order this morning. Though the order was in effect immediately, residents will have until 9:00 a.m. on Saturday to move belongings from their property. 

The closure of Highway 1 has changed. The highway is now closed near mile marker 38/Troy Canyon on the north and Hermitage on the south. 

Smoke: The Monterey Bay Air Resources District has issued a Wildfire Air Quality Advisory. When the concentration of smoke has reached UNHEALTHY levels of the AQI, residents should limit their activity by staying indoors with the doors and windows closed to avoid breathing smoke.  Updates on the current air quality forecast and Air Monitoring data can be found at http://air.mbard.org/