Chimney Fire approaching Monterey Co, threatens Hearst Castle

The Chimney Fire in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., has spread to over 4,000 acres and is now at 37,000 acres on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. (KGO-TV)

The Chimney Fire in San Luis Obispo County grew by 4,000 acres overnight and is now at 37,000 acres. The wildfire is approaching the historic landmark Hearst Castle where newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst once lived. The wildfire also threatens a Monterey County community.

The Chimney Fire was threatening the community of Bryson Hesperia, which extends into both counties, Chimney Fire spokesman Bud Englund said.

The entire community has been evacuated because of the threat from the fire, but the fire has not reached Monterey County, he said.

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The fire started at 4:05 p.m. Aug. 13 at Running Deer and Chimney Rock roads south of Lake Nacimiento, Cal Fire officials said.

Forty-eight structures have been destroyed and seven more damaged by the blaze, according to Cal Fire officials.

About 330 structures are threatened. The fire is burning about two miles from the Hearst Castle, which is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark.

Englund said the fire doesn't pose much of the threat to the castle building.

"Smoke damage to the art would be more of the concern," Englund said. "That would be the biggest concern when it comes to the Hearst Castle."

William Randolph Hearst was an avid art collection.

The Hearst Castle is closed until further notice because of the fire, according to the landmark's website.
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