An evacuation center has relocated to the King City High School gym for Dolan Fire evacuees who need assistance. (Sean Roney/Staff)

SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County has relocated its evacuation center from the King City Library to the King City High School gym to accommodate more residents who are evacuating from the Dolan Fire, currently burning in the Santa Lucia Mountains west of the Salinas Valley.

The center opened Thursday at the school’s gym, 720 Broadway St., in King City.

“The move is being made to take advantage of a larger space in order to safely accommodate more residents at a time as Covid-19 protocols, such as social distancing, are required,” according to Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator, in a news release.

The new location’s schedule and operations remain the same. The evacuation center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily to provide resources for evacuees, including disaster application assistance, emergency housing and RV vouchers. 

Residents in need of information can drop by the center or call 831-385-5461, dial “0” then extension 1302. Those who need assistance outside of the regular hours should call 831-385-3677.

Firefighters assigned to the Dolan Fire work along Highway 1 between Pacific Valley and Wild Cattle Creek. (USFS)

The Dolan Fire, which originated about 10 miles south of Big Sur off Highway 1, has burned 127,724 acres and destroyed 19 structures in the Los Padres National Forest’s Ventana Wilderness and northern areas of Fort Hunter Liggett. It is 45% contained as of Friday morning.

“With predicted temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s, fire behavior is expected to be minimal around the fire today,” the U.S. Forest Service said Friday. “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 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 Forest Service said the east side of the fire “remains quiet with pockets of heat where heavy timber is burning close to fire lines.” In addition, firefighters have completed contingency lines and structure preparations around Coleman and Pine canyons.

Evacuation Zones 24 and 26, west of Greenfield and King City, were downgraded Friday from evacuation orders to now evacuation warnings for residents in those areas. 

According to the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services, this change is “weather dependent and could be moved back to an evacuation order if changes in the weather cause changes in fire behavior or growth.”

An evacuation warning means those in the specific area should be prepared to evacuate at any time, if a mandatory evacuation order is called. For information about fire status and evacuation zones, residents can call 211 or go to

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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