H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Nov 15, 2013 1:21 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Dry and windy conditions make for high fire concern, according to SLO Co. Cal Fire

It's been a historically dry year, both on the Central Coast and for the rest of the state. On Thursday, it was not only dry, but windy as well. San Luis Obispo County Cal Fire Chief Robert Lewin called that combination a high fire danger.

Lewin said each year, the fire season keeps getting longer, meaning it's starting earlier and ending later. He said it's all because of the drought.

"I think the ranchers, and the firefighters in this county are all ready for rain," said Lewin.

Because with no rain, Lewin said there are major consequences.

He said, "We need to get our winter rains to fill up our reservoirs, get the range back so the cattle can graze, and we can end this fire season."

In fact, the reservoir levels are so bad that the numbers speak for themselves. Lake Cachuma is nearly 44% filled and Lake Nacimiento is barely filled at 24.6%. Many Central Coast communities rely on the water from those resources.

It's been recorded that 2013 is the driest year in the California's history. Last month was the 11th most drought-ridden October the state has every seen.

"You know, in California, fire season is year round now," said Lewin.

Lewin said Thursday's combination of dry conditions and high winds led them to add more resources to the force.

He said, "Because of that, we brought on extra resources yesterday evening, and it was a good thing, because today we're utilizing that now on fires in Ventura County."

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