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Cal Fire warning SLO County residents to prepare for active fire season

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The San Luis Obispo County Fire Department is warning residents to get ready for potentially more wildfires this year.

"Our current fuel conditions are indicating that we're going to see a very active fire season." said CAL FIRE SLO County Fire Chief Scott Jalbert. "We've entered into what we refer to as, the peak of fire season, and that's when fuel conditions indicate that we're going to have some prime burning conditions, which is what we're seeing right now.

The warning comes just days after two significant wildfires threatened hundreds of homes and businesses.

"Both of those fires were fuel driven, meaning the fuels were at primed to burn and we're looking at burning conditions that we would normally see in late July," said Jalbert.

Last week, the Avila Fire burned more than 400 acres in the Shell Beach area.

No structures where destroyed, but the fast moving blaze had the potential to burn dozens of homes along Mattie Road, as well as many more across Highway 101.

Earlier this week, the River Fire in Paso Robles forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes on the eastern side of the city.

Although it was limited to only 15 acres, it destroyed two houses and damaged nine other structures.

Several other smaller fires have also ignited over the past few weeks, but have been put out quickly.

In preparation for the season, CAL FIRE has received additional resources recently.

"Last week, we upstaffed into our peak staffing levels, adding fire engines and staffing some of the resources 24 hours, seven days a week," said Jalbert.

Jalbert noted 12 more engines have been added into the fleet, as well as 12 more firefighters.

With fire conditions now severe, CAL FIRE, along with other county firefighting agencies are trying make sure residents are aware and ready if and when a wildfire strikes in their area.

"Everyone needs to do their part to help themselves and help us save their homes in the event of a fire," said Jalbert. "We need everyone's help to make sure that their homes are cleared. That they don't have burnable vegetation around their homes. That they don't have burnable materials around their homes, and more importantly for their safety, making sure that they have a plan, making sure in the event that they're asked to evacuate, what to take, where to go, and be prepared for that."

California / Fire / Outdoors / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.