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Cal Fire, PG&E prepare for heat wave this weekend

Statewide flex alert Friday from 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Posted at 10:51 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 02:03:19-04

Parts of the Central Coast are gearing up for a heat wave.

With the blistering heat ahead, it’ll be all hands on deck for CAL FIRE.

“We’re increasing our staffing with our bulldozers, our handcrews, extra staffing in our emergency command center,” said Adan Orozco, CAL FIRE San Luis Obispo PIO.

An uptick in calls is expected, not only because of the prime fire conditions, but also for heat related medical calls.

“Those could be people at home that may not have air conditioning or they might be out doing their normal daily activities and forget to hydrate and they'll experience heat related illnesses,” Orozco said.

Firefighters are also preparing for the visitors and the inevitable crowds at our lakes and beaches.

“That could bring an extra call volume in itself. It could be related to car accidents, extra medical aids. We could run into water type rescues,” Orozco said.

The City of Paso Robles is also bracing for the heat wave by setting up a cooling center at the Centennial Park gym.

“We’re mandated to provide a cooling center when we hit temperatures above 105 degrees for more than 3 days in a row,” said Lyndia Plescia, City of Paso Robles Recreation Services Manager.

The center will be open Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“This is the first time we've opened this site in order to accommodate a cooling center and it's in order to be in compliance with COVID-19,” Plescia said.

But for those opting to stay home, keep in mind, there’s a statewide flex alert to conserve power on Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“We’ve brought to bare all of our resources to prepare for this and the possibility of outages which can occur in high heat,” said Mark Mesesan of Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

While some wildfires are blazing throughout the state and others are now nearly contained, CAL FIRE adds it’s ready for the scorching weekend ahead.

“All the equipment that we had out of county at other fires are all back in the unit now so we're prepared for any large incident that may happen in San Luis,” Orozco said.