H-CENTRAL COAST

Apr 26, 2013 9:26 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Local fire officials prepare for busy season ahead

The hills are drying out, the temperatures are heating up, and firefighters are standing by because high fire season is here.

"We are easily a month ahead of when fire season normally starts," said Chief Robert Lewin of Cal Fire on Friday.

Beginning Monday, Cal Fire will add 50 additional firefighters to its crew. They will be assigned all over San Luis Obispo County and in a few weeks, there will be additional air tankers stationed in Paso Robles.

This year, fire officials are especially concerned about fire season, not only because of the lack of rain, but because of the gusty winds we've had over the last month. The winds dried out the hillsides and the entire Central Coast has seen wildflowers die and grasses turn brown, which makes for perfect fuel for a wildfire.

"While we are getting prepared, the citizens might not be prepared, so we need to make sure they are getting out there and providing clearance around their homes and structures," said Chief Lewin. "Be careful when doing so as you can easily start a fire." Lewin said if you want to mow your grass, do it before 10:00 a.m. because that's when there is still moisture in the ground.

Monday also marks the end of open burn season. All Dooryard Burn permits will be suspended until the end of high fire season.

For more information go to http://www.sbcfire.com/or http://www.fire.ca.gov/

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