Dolan Fire, Day 18, 9/4/2020


Update – September 4, 2020 

Rob Allen, Incident Commander

Fire Information: 831-272-0222                 Email:

Media Information: 831-272-0221            Inciweb


Size: 31,901 acres             Containment: 40%       Personnel: 876       Start Date: August 18, 2020      Cause: Unknown

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.


Evacuations / Closures: Click here  for an interactive map of Monterey County evacuations. For information about state highway closures go to

  • Evacuation Order for the area South of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, west of South Coast Ridge to Prewitt Ridge including Alms Ridge.
  • Evacuation Warning for Partington Zone C (only residents allowed into the area).
  • Highway 1 is closed from north of Vista Point south to Pacific Valley.
  • Forest Order Number 05-07-51-20-20 is in effect today, superseding Forest Order Number 05-07-51-20-19.

WEATHER: The marine layer is lowering today to 1,000 feet as a high pressure system moves into the area. The east side and higher elevation areas continue to be warmer and drier. An excessive heat warning has been issued for Saturday through Monday and temperatures are expected to be in the 90’s along the coast and low hundreds inland. Winds are forecast to remain mild. Fire activity is expected to increase with this change in weather conditions.

PUBLIC MEETING: Our next virtual community meeting will be on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The meeting will be live-streamed on the Los Padres National Forest Facebook page and can be viewed live or retroactively. If you have specific questions please send them to

SAFETY: Fire personnel and equipment are staged and working from the Big Sur area. Highway 1 is still closed within the fire area to ensure public safety as well as to allow for safer fire fighting operations. As Labor Day Weekend  commences, anticipate increased traffic in proximity to the fire area.

Dolan Fire 

California Interagency Incident Management Team 2 

Public Information Phone: 831-272-0222 

Media Information Phone: 831-272-0221 

Incident E-mail: 

Incident Website:


Condor Nestling “Iniko” Survives the Dolan Fire

We are delighted to share the wonderful news that condor chick “Iniko” #1031 is alive and well! Our field crew was given the green light by fire authorities with the US Forest Service to go into the Dolan Fire burn scar area, yesterday, and view the Redwood nest tree of “Kingpin” #167 and “Redwood Queen” #190Watch Video!

The fire burned just ten feet below the nest cavity, yet “Iniko” survived the fire as observed by Ventana Wildlife Society biologists, Joe Burnett and Darren Gross.

“We were not optimistic as we hiked through the fire’s devastation. To find Iniko alive and well is simply a miracle,” said Burnett.   

While we are overjoyed to find “Iniko,” there is now a fifth condor chick #1033 directly impacted by the Dolan Fire.

We are happy to report that yesterday, #1033 was saved from her nest, where she was in a cliff cavity directly in the path of the advancing Dolan fire line.

Working quickly with our longtime partners with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Pinnacles National Park, the VWS-Pinnacles field team heroically saved chick #1033.

Chick #1033, age 4 months, has been relying on only her father, “Puff Daddy” #219, as her mother “Wild 1” 231 disappeared last May.   

Ventana Wildlife Society biologist Stephanie Herrera safely delivered chick #1033 to her new temporary home at the Los Angeles Zoo where she will spend the next year until ready to be released back into the wild and reunited with its flock. 

We are still missing 11 condors, including two chicks and nine adults/sub-adults. The Dolan Fire has burned over 31,000 acres and is currently 40% contained.  As the Dolan Fire rages on, help us rebuild the Condor’s Big Sur Sanctuary.  Our goal is to raise $500,000 to continue our work restoring this magnificent species. 

We will continue to post updates on our homepage as we determine the fate of these missing condors to keep you all informed. Thank you all for your concern, support, and well-wishes. 

For more information and updates on the condors during the Dolan Fire, sign up for our eNewsletter.

3 thoughts on “Dolan Fire, Day 18, 9/4/2020

  1. Kate, thank you so much for these postings. For those of us who love Big Sur but aren’t residents, it’s so helpful to be included in your invaluable information for residents.
    Question, what is the difference between an “indirect line” and a “direct” line, do you know?

  2. Direct Fire Fighting—Direct attack is any treatment applied directly to burning fuel such as wetting, smothering, or chemically quenching the fire or by physically separating the burning from not burned fuel. Direct lines are also those put in by the hot shot crews right on the edge of the fire. Indirect Fire Fighting—are those tactics used at a distance from the oncoming fire, such as creating a dozer line backed with retardant at which point they hope to stop the fire.

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