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Fire departments across Central Coast concerned about the increased risk of wildfires

Posted at 10:55 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 02:04:58-04

This holiday weekend is going to be a scorcher and fire departments across the Central Coast are concerned about the increased risk of wildfires.

"Any time we have heightened temperatures for a prolonged period of time it does raise our concern of the wildfire threat," said Scott Hallett, City of Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services Batallion Cheif.

"Typically our call volume when it get really hot we're going to be really worried about wildfire," said Steve Lieberman, Five Cities Fire Authority Fire Chief.

"We do anticipate that there will be more elevated fire weather conditions," said James Blattler, City of San Luis Obispo Emergency Manager.

A significant number of wildfires are the result of human negligence.

"Eighty-five percent of all wildfires are human caused and obviously going into a holiday weekend we expect to have more people on the road, more people visiting our communtiy," said Hallett.

Firefighters have tips for keeping the community safe during this time of increased fire risk.

If you are traveling with outdoor equipment like a boat, Paso Robles Battalion Chief Scott Hallett says it's important to properly store the chains while driving so they do not spark a fire.

"We''ve had a pretty significant number of fires in Paso Robles over the last few years in particular within our riverbed," said Hallett.

The enviornment within the riverbed is ideal for wildfire ignition.

"Low overnight relative humidity recovery is not giving the chance for the fuels to kind of recover their moisture which makes them more receptive to ignition," said Hallett.

The city of San Luis Obispo Fire Department is prepared to respond to wildfires and is asking residents to report fires early.

"We need the community's help and that's through quickly reporting smoke or fires seen in our city's open space or creek system so that way we can quickly respond and put the fire out," said Blattler.

On Thursday the City of Paso Robles will be opening a cooling center for anyone who needs it from noon to 6pm.

Fire officials have also stressed the importance of checking on elderly family members and friends during the heat wave.