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Dolan & River Fire Victims Give Thanks

An Unexpected Evening in California

Firefighter standing in front of a massive wildfire.

On the evening of August 18th, 2020, a fire broke out in Big Sur, CA, now known as the Dolan fire. With the cause being unknown at first, a man was arrested for arson in connection with the fires, and after some unconfirmed suspicion of other nefarious acts, it was ruled that he was mentally competent to stand trial. But not before destroying thousands of acres of Monterey County land and the properties of those that live there. 

Focused on Recovery

Helicopter using fire extinguishing methods to douse CA flames.

CERV jumped into action to provide support for those in need. While some things can’t be predicted, CERV of Monterey Peninsula strives to stay prepared for any disaster. Maintaining preparedness for fires in California is crucial to the recovery after a catastrophe as well as support from each other in a crisis.

CERV of the Monterey Peninsula received grants to help residents impacted by mudslides and debris flow caused by the Dolan and River Fires. Below are some letters CERV received from victims telling us how these grants are helping them recover.

Letters of Gratitude

"This comes to us at a time of great need. We had two cabins, which burned to the ground in the Dolan fire. Then the flooding from the atmospheric river completely destroyed our mile long dirt road into our property. Huge redwoods fell across it and in some places the road had completely disappeared into the creek. The mudslides also washed our water system and took out the majority of our one remaining cabin. 

We didn’t qualify for any government or insurance assistance for the fire, mudslides, or debris flows. A group of us own this property together and our bank account has been completely depleted in an attempt to deal with our devastation. Your funds will allow us to fix our road, water system, and clean up some of the debris. We are hugely grateful and cannot thank you enough!" 

- Maggie

"I am writing to thank you for the grant for assistance with damages from the River Fire and Winter Storms of 2020 and 2021. It is reassuring to know that there are still individuals in our community committed to helping their fellow man.

We were blessed, and the fire fighters worked diligently around the clock, to keep our structures safe and most of the property from burning, but unfortunately the land above the property was severely burned. That is what led to the mud and debris taking out our water tanks and culverts.

The goal for the grant is to use the funds to assist with replacing water tanks, rebuilding, and reinforcing water ways for upcoming storms in hopes to be able to prevent future damage to the property since it will take many years for the land above the property to grow back.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to moving forward with rebuilding."


"Please thank CERV for the funding for the damage sustained during the mudslide. You have no idea how much I appreciate this money and that it will help me re-carpet the room/carpet damage. It will also help me begin the process of planting erosion “halting” plants so if rain were to come down again, it might stop any further flooding in the future. God bless you and your organization."

- Patty

CERV of Monterey - Looking Toward California's Bright Future

The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, CA and the ocean.

It is our honor to step in and help the community when in need after a tragedy. We look forward to continuing to help and celebrate California’s recovery from the wildfires of 2020 including the Dolan Fires.

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