CAL FIRE SLO is getting ready for warmer and drier conditions.
On Monday, the agency increased its staffing and resources so firefighters are prepared for the peak of wildfire season.
During winter, they usually don’t have this kind of manpower, but CAL FIRE SLO expects to see an increase of fires as the temperature increases.
Firefighters made quick work of a 2 acre wildland fire on Hwy 41 near the County line. While the grass is still green in most parts of SLO County, our eastern borders are drying quickly. Time to start Preparing For Wildfire 2019 pic.twitter.com/Dk2QywoGTY
— CAL FIRE SLO (@CALFIRE_SLO) April 19, 2019
Many southern California CAL FIRE stations are transitioning out of winter and into summer mode.
For CAL FIRE SLO, it means adding about 30 new firefighters and nine engines.
CAL FIRE SLO Chief Scott Jalbert says the extra resources will be crucial during the upcoming peak fire season.
“In the next couple of weeks we will probably get right into our normal fire season mode where the engines become more active,” said Chief Scott Jalbert of CAL FIRE SLO.
The new gear allows crews to be on the scene of fires for about 72 hours whether urban or wildland.
The Atascadero Fire Department is also prepping for flare-ups, but they are asking the community to help.
— Atascadero Fire (@ATAFireL3600) April 16, 2019
“We’ve got the 41 corridor and we have city limits that butt up against the Los Padres National Forest,” said Colette Layton, spokesperson for the Atascadero Fire Department. “We have a huge vulnerable side of our city that we are doing everything we can to be ready but we also want our homeowners that are in those more prone areas to do whatever they can.”
She hopes the department’s May 4th event “Defend Atascadero” will teach neighbors how to protect their homes.
“Is there enough room vertically and horizontally for a fire engine to get up to the house and do we feel safe in the space you have created around your home to be able to stay there and defend it?” said Layton.
Firefighters across San Luis Obispo County say they are preparing for anything and everything.
“Once that grass dries out, I think we are going to be off to the races and we will probably have more fires than we’ve seen in the last couple of years just because of the fuel loading and the abundance of grass,” said Jalbert.
There are two weeks left of open burn days.