The Paso Robles Fire Department is kicking off a new series of events aimed at preparing the public for wildfires.
Fire officials say the western end of the city is most vulnerable to wildfires and an area of particular concern is Fern Canyon Road and surrounding areas.
“We can always expect that if there’s a fire that gets going there that the ember case could potentially get into the city boundaries and start catching houses on fire,” said Fire Captain John Prickett.
People who live in Paso Robles are being urged to prepare now for the fast-approaching wildfire season.
“We’ve had fires that have started in the city and gotten out of control and burned some houses before, and we don’t want that to happen again,” added Prickett.
The Paso Robles Fire Department kicked off the first of two fire preparedness block parties on Wednesday evening.
“California has earthquakes, floods, wildfires. We’re probably leading the nation in the different types of disasters,” said John Spooner, CERT Program Manager for northern San Luis Obispo County.
Community members gathered in front of Bauer/Speck Elementary School to hear advice about preparing for fires.
“With that information, they’re more confident in making the decisions during the disaster because they have that knowledge,” explained Spooner.
Fire experts say that no plants or trees should be directly touching your home.
It’s also important to clean out your rain gutters and clear a 100-foot barrier of defensible space.
Another good idea is cutting low-hanging limbs from trees which prevents a fire from getting into the canopy and taking off.
“We want people to take actions like putting mesh vents over their attic vents and then putting lattice and protecting embers from getting underneath decks and catching decks on fire,” explained Prickett.
CERT volunteers were also on hand to talk about upcoming classes on disaster preparedness.
“People who go through that class come out of it with an understanding of what happens during a disaster, how to survive it, and how to recover from it,” said Spooner.
The next fire preparedness block party will happen on Wednesday, May 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the corner of 12th Street and Fresno Avenue.