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River Fire and Carmel Fire

May contain: mountain, outdoors, and nature
The River Fire on August 16, 2020 (photo credit: Dawn Fenton)


In the early morning hours of August 16, a series of strong thunderstorms and dry lightning came through Monterey County, creating a spectacular lightshow, and unfortunately sparking one of the largest fires we have seen in our jurisdiction in years. Around 3:04 am, lightning struck ground in upper Pine Canyon at Black Mountain and started a vegetation fire. Monterey County Regional Fire units were already out responding to other incidents and were able to locate the general area of the fire quickly and begin ordering appropriate resources to access the fire in very difficult terrain. Cal Fire has since joined in a unified command for the River Fire and a management team is now in place. 

On August 18, a second fire was reported in Carmel Valley off Cachagua Road. It continues to burn actively in the area and evacuation orders are rapdily changing.

As it is often faster for our residents to access information directly, we encourage our community to use the following useful links:

CAL FIRE "River Fire" Incident Page

CAL FIRE "Carmel Fire" Incident Page


River Fire Incident Media and Public Information Line

925-532-5455 or 2-1-1.


Alert Monterey County Current Notifications Page

(Also, sign-up here for the A!ert Monterey County messages)  



Monterey County Sheriff Twitter Account - Status of Evacuation Orders

(visible without Twitter app.)


Monterey County Office of Emergency Services 

All services related to the fire emergency

(visible without Twitter app.) 

Or text


to the number 888777 to receive daily fire updates.


SPCA River Fire Emergency Evacuations/Sheltering


American Red Cross 24-Hour Disaster Dispatch Helpline



Donations to American Red Cross of the Central Coast

(831) 624-6921


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