Lake Fire

The Lake Fire burning near Lockwood on Tuesday, July 30.

Firefighters from Cal Fire and the Fort Hunter Liggett Fire Department are busy battling two blazes in southern Monterey County. 

The 316-acre Lake Fire has burned for two days and is 90-percent contained as of 2pm on Wednesday, July 31, according to Capt. Greg Leonard of the Cal Fire Monterey Command Center. 

The Lake Fire started sometime on Monday near Lake San Antonio, by the intersection of Jolon Road and New Pleyto Road. No property has been reported damaged, and no residential communities are currently at risk.

Approximately 40 firefighters, along with eight fire engines and five aircraft, are currently battling the blaze, which Cal Fire hopes to fully have contained within the next 24 hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Another fire broke out not long after just about 25 miles to the east in the mountains of the Ventana Wilderness. 

The 300-acre Mill Fire is 10-percent contained as of 2pm Wednesday, according to Lynn Olsen, a spokesperson for the US Forest Service. The fire was first reported at 5:30am on Wednesday, July 30.

Almost 500 firefighters, 30 fire engines and a dozen aircraft are battling the Mill Fire, with more firefighters expected to join today. The blaze is mostly located in the Ventana Wilderness north of Nacimiento Ferguson Road, and is expected to be 100-percent contained by Thursday evening.

Smoke is visible from some homes in Big Sur, but the Mill Fire does not currently pose any threat to communities or structures. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Those looking for live updates on the Mill Fire are encouraged to check the official Twitter account of the Los Padres National Forest, @LosPadresNF, for the latest updates. Cal Fire will report updates on the Lake Fire @CalFireBEU.


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Matt Koller joins the staff of the Monterey County Weekly after years of working seasonally as a guide and photographer. He is keenly interested in pressing environmental issues, exploring the California coast, and learning to surf in cold water.

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