County wildfire reduction planning continues for 2019


SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Fire San Luis Obispo Unit has identified goals for wildfire prevention in San Luis Obispo County for 2019. With an ever-present need for wildfire readiness in our county, Fire Chief Scotty Jalbert has prioritized a few proactive measures to reduce the threat of wildfire this year. This year’s plan includes:

  • Conducting over 8,500 defensible space inspections.
  • Conducting 2,000-4,000 acres of prescription burning.
  • Manually reducing over 500 acres of hazardous fuel.

To achieve this year’s goal, Cal Fire will continue working closely with the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council to allocate and utilize state grant funding for hazardous fuel reduction, and fire prevention. The department is anticipating hiring at least two seasonal Cal Fire Defensible Space Inspectors in April, to conduct defensible space inspections and prevention education. Also through the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council, Cal Fire will allocate grant money to purchase a new skid steer masticator, and a remote-controlled chipper to aid in reducing the dead and overgrown vegetation that covers many areas of the county. They plan to take delivery of this new equipment in April 2019. This new equipment will support the work already being done by the year-round state-funded Cal Fire engine companies, hand crews and bulldozers that have been conducting prescribed burns and hazardous fuel reduction projects in various location throughout the county.

While the majority of work required to achieve these goals cannot begin until after the rainy season, prescription burning is already being conducted as the weather allows.

“We made great progress in 2018, but we still have work to do. This year we are raising the bar on our efforts to minimize the wildfire threat in San Luis Obispo County,” said Chief Jalbert.

For more information on how you can do your part in reducing our threat of wildfire and ideas for creating a defensible space, visit www.readyforwildfire.org.

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