Chimney Fire spreads into Monterey County

CAL FIRE estimates 48 structures have been destroyed

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Map Chimney Fire

(UPDATED at 11:45 a.m. PDT August 22, 2016)

(An updated article about the Chimney Fire was published August 24, 2016)

The Chimney Fire 7 miles north of Cambria near the central California coast was very active Sunday on the north and northwest sides where it spread 2.5 miles further north in about 24 hours. The fire is well established north of the western arm of Lake Nacimiento. It expanded by over 7,000 acres, growing to 31,664 acres.

Map of the Chimney Fire
Map of the Chimney Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 9 p.m. PDT August 21, 2016. The white line was the perimeter about 24 hours before.

There has been no update from CAL FIRE about the number of structures destroyed since they reported that 48 have burned and another 7 have been damaged.

Late in the day and Sunday night the fire behavior was extreme and continued to challenge the control lines. It is currently burning through the Rock Butte area and has crossed into Monterey County. After the Monday morning inversion dissipates, south and southwest winds will increase to 10 mph with gusts around 20. Snags continue to be a safety hazard for firefighters.

Evacuation orders are in place for Christmas Cove, Oak Shores, Lake San Antonio, and Bryson Hesperia affecting 2,448 people.


Since the Chimney Fire started on August 13 it has burned 24,096 acres 5 miles from the central coast of central California, an increase of about 8,000 acres over the previous 24 hours. It is 7 miles north of Cambria and 3 miles east of Hearst Castle, a historical landmark built in the first half of the last century by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

CAL FIRE estimates that 48 structures have burned and another 7 have been damaged. Evacuations have been ordered for some locations in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties.

The fire has jumped across the western arm of Lake Nacimiento.

Map Chimney Fire
Map of the Chimney Fire at 2:40 a.m. PDT Aug 21, 2016. Click to enlarge.

The spread of the fire was described as extreme on Saturday and Saturday evening. Drought-stressed timber, chaparral, and grass continue to challenge firefighters in the steep inaccessible terrain as the fire continues to move north and west.

Map Chimney Fire
3-D Map of the Chimney Fire at 2:40 a.m. PDT Aug 21, 2016.

The fire is being fought by 2,699 firefighters, 218 engines, 71 hand crews, 7 air tankers, 14 helicopters, 50 dozers, and 35 water tenders.

It is unusual to have CHAIRS and a pre-built stage for an operational period briefing.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Chimney Fire spreads into Monterey County”

  1. I’m a resident in The Bradley/ Lockwood area. This is the best website I’ve seen for information about the chimney fire. Many thanks to whoever published this great info and superb map graphics! Updated information and maps have been scarse relating to the Chimney fire.

  2. I have a home in Oak Shores and live in the desert in La Quinta.
    I’m thankful for the info I get about the fire threatening my home from this site.

  3. Thanks so much for this info as I have no other way to keep up dates outside of good friends living on the coast. I be praying earnestly for all involved.

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