Defensible Space

Wildfire is Coming; Are you Ready?

Author: County Fire Department (CAL FIRE SLO)
Date: 4/16/2019 11:23:04 AM

Living in California means living with wildfire.

Given the geography, weather patterns, and vegetation types wildfire is an inevitable part of living in California.  Add into the equation that almost 40 million people live in California, we rarely have a wildfire that doesn’t impact homes, communities, and lives. We must recognize that WILDFIRE IS COMING and that San Luis Obispo County is NO exception! The fact that the traditional “fire season” is an almost year around threat, we are asking the residents of San Luis Obispo County ARE YOU READY? 

Yes, we must be concerned with wildfire, even as we are still receiving an abundance of rain. With this year’s above average amount of rain, we are sure to have an abundant crop of annual grasses that make our hillsides that vibrant green we all enjoy. Inevitably, those same grasses will dry out this summer and the threat of wildfire will return.

This year we will be stepping up our efforts to safeguard San Luis Obispo County against wildfires. Some of the efforts we will be making in San Luis Obispo County include:

  • Conducting over 8,500 defensible space inspections.
  • Conducting 2,000-4,000 acres of prescription burning.
  • Treating over 500 acres of hazardous fuels reduction.
  • Purchasing new equipment to aid in fuel reduction (being purchase by CAL FIRE).
  • Incorporating a new fuel reduction hand crew (being made available by CAL FIRE).
  • Continued collaboration with the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council, for future risk reduction projects.

We all live with the threat of wildfire. Recognizing that wildfires are not just a CAL FIRE or Fire Department issue; we need your help!

 So, what can you do? While it is still too early in the year to start mowing the grass down, now is a great time to begin liming trees up, removing ground litter, relocating fire wood piles away from buildings, clearing gutters and cleaning roofs of leaves and debris. The goal should be to make as many defensible space preparations as possible now, so that when the grass stops growing and the rain subsides, all that is left will be cutting the grass to complete your defensible space. Ideally, your defensible space should be completed prior to the official start of fire season (typically mid-May). Remember, defensible space does not just pertain to residential neighborhoods. It also includes schools, businesses, city and county buildings, hospitals, etc.

Unfortunately, we know that wildfire will return to San Luis Obispo County, but if we all do our parts, we can reduce the risk of wildfire. For more information on defensible space and way to prepare for wildfire visit and remember WILDFIRE IS COMING! ARE YOU READY?