Places across the Central Coast are prepping for fire season, including the City of Atascadero.
Every year at the end of March, Battalion Chief Dave Van Son inspects the 11,000 property areas throughout the city.
“Weed abatement is actually a program that we do for our property owners, every parcel owner to create what's called a defensible space," said Van Son.
That layer of defense is crucial.
“If a fire is creeping up to there and hits that defensible space that's created with the weed abatement, the fire will slow down and give us a better chance to save the property and the structures," added Van Son.
“Defensible space is one of the things that we ask you all to do right now. While it's green and it's less susceptible to lawnmowers, that heat up quite a bit and you may cause your own fire on your property. In that we ask that you mow before ten and after six," said Cal Fire Public Information Officer, Toni Davis.
The higher and denser the weeds are the more fire potential they carry.
According to Van Son in previous years the number of notices sent out warning people about hazards on their property was 3,000. This year that number jumped to more than 5,000, that’s due to all of the rain we saw earlier in the year.
If residents in Atascadero did receive a notice don’t panic there is still time.
“They have till June 1st to comply. So if you receive that notice and you comply by June 1st, we go back out and do visual inspections on those five thousand that we tagged and if you're in compliance, nothing happens," explained Van Son.
For those who don’t comply, a city contractor will be authorized to clear the hazardous weeds. Property owners are looking at paying a flat fee of $267 plus a percentage charge of 166% administrative fee.
All property owners having any objections to the proposed removal of the hazard are encouraged to attend a city council meeting on May 9th, at 6:00 p.m.