The top 20 fires in Monterey County since 1977

The largest fire in Monterey County's recorded history was the Marble Cone fire, which took place in 1977 and burned 177,866 acres.

The Dolan Fire which has been burning in Big Sur since August 18 is at 113,486 acres, which is about 64 percent of the size of Marble Cone. It is currently 26 percent contained.

The current acreage of the Dolan Fire places it fourth on the list of the 20 largest fires in Monterey County since 1977, according to Cal Fire. The firefighting agency could only provide county-specific records going back to that year. 

Across the state, six of the largest fires in California's recorded fire history have occurred this year, according to Cal Fire. 

The scientific consensus is that human-caused climate change is increasing the size, frequency and intensity of wildfires in California.

The Basin Complex of 2008, which was caused by a lighting storm, and the Soberanes Fire of 2016, the result of an illegal campfire, rank second and third in Monterey County, respectively. 

Two incidents from earlier this summer, the River Fire and Carmel Fire, also made the list for Monterey County, with River reaching sixth all-time and Carmel reaching 10th all time. 

Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers the environment, agriculture and K-12 education, as well as Seaside, Marina, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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