Coleman fire near Big Sur grows to 500 acres, no structures threatened

About 500 acres of forest land in Monterey County near Big Sur had burned by Monday afternoon in what officials are calling the Coleman fire.

Andrew Madsen, a Los Padres National Forest spokesman, said no structures are at risk. The fire is at 0% containment.

When the fire began is a bit of a mystery, Madsen said, adding that it may have started as early as Thursday. The Cal Fire website lists the start date as Sunday.

“I didn’t receive information on when the fire stated as is usually the case, but we know it’s in the forest and not far off from [U.S. Army garrison] Ft. Hunter Liggett,” Madsen said.

Fort personnel tweeted Sunday that there “is no danger” to the installation, but that voluntary evacuations orders were in effect for nearby canyons.

If there’s a positive in terms of containment efforts, it’s that local, state and federal firefighters were already in position to fight the Coleman fire. The nearby Dolan fire, which started Aug. 19 and has burned about 125,000 acres, is 98% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

There were, at one time, 249 firefighters and 16 engines assigned to battle the Dolan fire.

“We’re just in need of a good rain to put out the last spots of the fire,” Madsen said of the Dolan fire. “With firefighters and resources already on scene, they can move on to the Coleman fire.”

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