PASO ROBLES — The City of Paso Robles started work on reducing fire fuels in the Salinas Riverbed on Wednesday, July 1.

The City received approval for its Salinas Riverbed Emergency Plan from the Regional Water Quality Control Board on June 30. It was submitted to the RWQCB on June 26.

The emergency plan will allow the City to continue improving and expanding the firebreak created in 2019, while a long-term plan to manage the vegetation is developed. 

Work will consist of equipment mowing, crews weed whipping and additional mastication to expand the depth of the firebreak throughout the river. Portions of the River Walk will be closed to the public while equipment is operating in those areas.

“We continue to aggressively address this problem to protect the citizens and visitors of Paso Robles,” City officials stated.

Approval from the water quality board comes in the wake of the River Fire on June 22 that burned 15 acres, destroying two homes and damaging nine others.

Two days after the fire started, state, county and city officials sent a letter and held a press conference strongly urging the water board to allow the City to mitigate the fire hazards in the riverbed as it did a year ago.