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Containment lines increase on fires burning north of SLO County, smoke eases

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Posted at 8:45 AM, Aug 25, 2020

Firefighters have increased containment lines on three fires that broke out over a week ago in Monterey County.

The largest of the three fires is the River Fire which was started by a lighting strike Sunday, Aug. 16 near Toro Peak, approximately five miles south of Salinas.

The River Fire has burned 48,424 acres and is 33% contained. Twenty-one structures have been destroyed and nine have been damaged. CAL FIRE says four firefighters suffered minor heat related injuries. There are now more than 1,178 fire personnel battling the fire.

Just south of the River Fire is the Carmel Fire which broke out Tuesday, Aug, 18 in Carmel Valley in Monterey County. That fire has burned 6,695 acres and is 30% contained. Evacuation orders are in place as fire officials say 51 structures have been destroyed. CAL FIRE says there are 909 fire personnel on scene.

Another fire burning south and closer to the coast of both of these fires is the Dolan Fire which broke out near Big Sur. This fire broke out Tuesday, Aug. 18 and has burned 20,091 acres with 15% containment reached.

Highway 1 is closed from Ragged Point in SLO County to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Monterey County. Caltrans says they do not have an estimated time for when the Highway will reopen. There are 662 fire personnel working this fire.

According to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, Ivan Geronimo Gomez, 30, of Fresno, was arrested on suspicion of starting the Dolan Fire.

Gomez is facing charges of arson after he was arrested near the fires point of origin in the John Little State Natural Reserve. His bail was set at $2 million.