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Wildfire threat increases for communities in Monterey County, smoke worsens on Central Coast

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Posted at 7:16 AM, Aug 21, 2020

Three wildires burning in Monterey County continue to grow as firefighters work endlessly to increase containment lines.

The River Fire, Carmel Fire and Dolan Fire all broke out within the past week and quickly burned thousands of acres leading to evacuation orders and road closures.

As of Friday morning, the River Fire, which was caused by a lightning strike, has burned 39,464 acres and containment increased to 9%. As the fire grows the number of structures threatened continues to rise, totaling 3,005. Ten have been destroyed and two are damaged. Some of those structures threatened are now major housing developments. Fire officials say they hope to have containment of the River fire by Aug. 30. To find out more about evacuations visit this website. There are 696 fire personnel on scene.

Just southeast of the River Fire is the Carmel Fire which has burned 4,732 and is 0% contained. Fire officials fear since the River Fire and Carmel Fire are so close there is a possibly they may merge. The number of structures threatened due to the Carmel Fire is 462 with 28 destroyed and two damaged. The cause of the Carmel Fire is unknown. There are 782 fire personnel on scene.

Even more south burns the Dolan Fire which broke out near Big Sur. That fire has burned 8,500 acres and is 0% contained. According to Caltrans, Highway 1 is closed from Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Monterey County. There is no estimated time on when the highway will reopen.

According to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, the Dolan Fire was caused by arson. Ivan Geronimo Gomez, 30, of Fresno, was arrested on Wednesday near the fires point of origin in the John Little State Natural Reserve. His bail was set at $2 million