PASO ROBLES – On the heels of the June 22nd Riverbed Fire in Paso Robles, the City continued to advocate for the ability to implement a Salinas Riverbed Emergency Plan to mitigate hazardous fuels present in the Riverbed.

After receiving the proposed plan on June 26th, and meeting with the City on June 30, 2020, the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) granted approval for the City to implement the Emergency Plan. 

Since the approval of the emergency plan, extensive work has been completed to reduce the threat of wildfire within the Salinas Riverbed corridor. The City of Paso Robles Fire and Emergency staff, Public Works staff, and private contractors have implemented a variety of treatment methods to reduce the abundance of vegetation in the riverbed. This work is in addition to the $366,000 allocated by the City Council for the emergency fuel reduction work performed in 2019.

The Paso Robles City Council will consider a staff recommendation at the July 15, 2020 Special City Council Meeting to approve an additional $278,000 dollars in mitigation cost. This is in addition to the $180,000 dollars in grant funds received through the San Luis Obispo Fire Safe Council earlier this year.

The Salinas Riverbed poses significant challenges to fully mitigate the fire threat. The riverbed encompasses nearly 500 acres of dense vegetation, watershed, wildlife habitat, and transient activity. The City of Paso Robles is working closely with numerous agencies in a collaborative effort to reduce the fire threat.