Smoke settles into low areas on the Dolan Fire, which is now 87% contained as of Sept. 30. (USFS)

SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County has closed its evacuation center at the King City High School gym now that the Dolan Fire is nearing full containment in the Santa Lucia Mountains west of the Salinas Valley and no evacuation orders are currently in place.

“Help is still available for those impacted by wildfires,” said Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator, in a news release Wednesday.

Residents in need of information regarding recovery assistance can access the county’s Virtual Local Assistance Center online at In addition, housing assistance for evacuees is still available by calling 831-796-3052.

The Dolan Fire, which originated Aug. 18 about 10 miles south of Big Sur off Highway 1, has burned 124,924 acres and destroyed 19 structures throughout the Los Padres National Forest’s Ventana Wilderness and northern areas of Fort Hunter Liggett. The fire is 87% contained as of Wednesday.

“Hot and dry weather conditions will play a roll in the next few days of our operational periods, with temperatures in the high 90s and winds reaching 20-25 mph across the ridge tops,” the U.S. Forest Service said in its incident overview Wednesday. “Firefighters will be at high alert to locate hotspots with the help of the VETs and the UAS IR (drone). Helicopters will play a vital roll to keep the located heat pinned down until firefighters can get to those areas and extinguish the heat.”

All evacuation zones, except for Zone 27 west of King City, have been lifted. Zone 27, which includes a north boundary of Santa Lucia Road south to Del Venture Road and a south boundary of Road 5 to Reliz Canyon, is still under an evacuation warning.

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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