The Dolan Fire had scorched 21,844 acres as of Wednesday morning, spreading more than 1,400 acres further overnight, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Containment remained at 15%, the U.S. Forest Service said in a news release.
According to the release, progress on the fire has been slow due to rough terrain and a lack of available crews — more than 15,000 firefighters battle upwards of two dozen major fires and lightning complexes throughout the state, according to Cal Fire.
The Dolan Fire is about 10 miles south of Big Sur, between Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Limekiln State Park.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, firefighters provided structure protection while low-intensity backing fires burned in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The Dolan Fire stopped short of McWay Ridge, the U.S. Forest Service said in an update.
The U.S. Forest Service had not released how many structures had been damaged or destroyed by the fire by Wednesday.
However, the Ventana Wildlife Society confirmed Wednesday via Twitter that the fire “completely destroyed” its California condor sanctuary, burning release and research facilities.
The Ventana Wildlife Society wrote on its website that a condor camera recorded video of the fire gaining traction until Aug. 21, when the video feed cut out. The nonprofit organization said firefighters confirmed the loss of its facilities on Monday.
While most of the condors have been accounted for, at least four of the giant birds were missing, according to the Ventana Wildlife Society. California condors are protected as endangered under federal and state law.
Other areas that continued to be threatened by the fire include the communities of Hermitage, Partington Ridge, Lucia and nearby businesses, the forest service said.
Evacuation orders were in effect Wednesday for Partington, Big Creek and Lucia zones.
Highway 1 remained closed Wednesday near mile marker 38 at Troy Canyon in the north and at Hermitage south of the fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
River Fire and Carmel Fire updates
Although containment remained the same for the Dolan Fire, firefighters were able to increase containment around the River Fire near Salinas and the Carmel Fire near Carmel.
The River Fire, south of Salinas, had burned 49,424 acres as of Wednesday morning. Containment had increased from 43% Tuesday evening to 48% by Wednesday morning, according to Cal Fire.
Cal Fire reported that onshore winds from the northwest Tuesday slowly pushed the fire to the south, yet it remained within containment lines.
As of Wednesday, 30 structures were destroyed — 13 of which were homes, according to the agency. An additional 12 structures were damaged, and 181 remained threatened.
The increased containment allowed for some evacuation orders and warnings to be lifted Tuesday. As containment increases, fewer structures were considered threatened as well.
The Carmel Fire in Carmel Valley was 45% contained as of Wednesday morning, up from 40% containment reported Tuesday eveing, according to Cal Fire.
Improved weather conditions helped firefighters improve containment lines, according to Cal Fire.
As of Wednesday, 6,695 acres in the Carmel Valley had burned as a result of the fire.
Cal Fire reported that 73 structures, including 50 homes, had been destroyed by the Carmel Fire as of Wednesday. Seven other structures were damaged and 440 remained threatened.
Firefighters were on the scene Wednesday moping up areas and patrolling the first perimeter of the fire, according to Cal Fire. Smoldering within the interior containment lines was to be expected, Cal Fire said.
On Wednesday, some evacuation orders and warnings were lifted, however many remained in place.
Where to get help if you’ve been affected by the fires
Commodity distribution points for the fires were set at the intersection of Tasajarra Road and Carmel Valley Road and the Cheveron Gas Station, located at 38 West Carmel Valley, according to Cal Fire. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Evacuation centers are located at King City Branch Library at 404 Broadway St. in King City and the Monterey Conference Center at 1 Protola Plaza in Monterey.
Along with the centers, 24-hour evacuation centers are located at Carmel Middle School at 4380 Carmel Valley Road in Carmel and Salinas Valley Fairgrounds at 625 Division St. in King City, according to Cal Fire. The shelters have the capacity to provide meals and sleeping accommodations for around 20 people.
How to help fire victims
Although some evacuation orders have been lifted, many remain in place in Monterey County.
The Community Foundation for Monterey County created a Monterey County Fire Relief Fund to help those affected by the Dolan, River and Salinas fires. Donations can be made online, via phone at 831-375-9712 or by mail at Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940. (Make checks payable to the foundation and note “Monterey County Fire Relief,” “Carmel Valley Relief” or “Big Sur Relief” in the memo line.)
Supplies can also be donated directly at Seaside High School, 2200 Noche Buena St. in Seaside, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Ventana Wildlife Society is also collecting monetary donations to rebuild the condor release and research facilities that were destroyed by the Dolan Fire. The nonprofit’s goal is to raise $500,000 to rebuild the sanctuary for the endangered birds, according to their website.
Additional volunteer and donation information can be found at MontereyCo.Recovers.org.