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Paso Robles Fire officials provide update on Salinas Riverbed Emergency Plan

Posted at 10:35 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 10:35:41-04

The Paso Robles City Council held a meeting August 6 to discuss with the local fire department about an Emergency Plan for the Salinas Riverbed.

The Paso Robles City Fire Department updated City Leaders on their progress regarding the hazardous fuel reduction project.

The city declared a local emergency on July 16 due to the number of fires in the riverbed.

Paso Robles fire officials say there have been 70 fires in the riverbed so far this year, with more than 100 reported last year.

The fire department is working with private contractors to perform mitigation in the riverbed. They will be gathering dead brush, trimming trees and creating fuel breaks to better access the fires.

"The funds will also be used for phase two," says Chief Jonathan Stornetta. "The police department has a team that will be going down there enforcing some of the camping restrictions and the debris down there for trash clean up. It's a prolonged process, it's a continual process and we will have to continue to maintain the riverbed in future years ."

This is the first step of the project and it is expected to begin later this week.

The City Council approved $366,000 for the project in July.