One person has died as a result of the King Fire, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday, May 27. The identity, as well as the gender and age of the deceased, remains unknown. It is also unknown if the individual was unhoused—the fire began in an area with an encampment.
As of Thursday night, the fire had burned 90 acres and was at 90-percent containment. The fire started on Wednesday, May 25 on the bed of the Salinas River behind KFC and McDonald’s on Broadway Circle, south of the Highway 101 bridge, and just north of downtown King City. Two unhoused families with children were among those who were evacuated from the area.
Caltrans closed Highway 101 exits at First Street and Canal Street, and shortly before 5pm the King City Police issued an evacuation warning for River Road residential and commercial areas. Officials also opened an emergency shelter for potential evacuees at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds.
Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control and evacuation warnings were lifted on Wednesday night at 7:50pm.
The Sheriff’s Office is seeking help to identify the body of the deceased. If you have information, contact Detective Sergeant Bryan Hoskins at 831-755-3773 or Detective Arras Willson at 831-759-7203.