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Two homes destroyed, four severely damaged as River Fire continues to burn in Paso Robles

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River Fire as seen from above
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Plumes of smoke fill the air in Paso Robles after a fire broke out in the Salinas Riverbed

PASO ROBLES, Calif. - A vegetation fire that started in the Salinas Riverbed Monday afternoon prompted neighborhood evacuations after it spread beyond the riverbed.

The River Fire was first reported around 1:55 p.m. The fire burned in the riverbed but ultimately jumped South River Road, which has led to the evacuation of at least 559 residences being ordered.

Paso Robles Fire Department, CAL FIRE, Five Cities Fire Authority, Atascadero and San Luis Obispo City Fire Departments responded.

The fire has burned about 7 acres and is currently 10% contained. As of 7 p.m., the City of Paso Robles said forward progress by the fire has been stopped.

Officials on scene said two homes were destroyed by the fire. Four additional homes have been seriously damaged by flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by arson investigators at this time. Anyone with information regarding the origins of the fire is urged to contact the Paso Robles Police Department.


According to the Paso Robles Police Department, residents in the Navajo, Cheyenne, Shoshone, and Capital Hill neighborhoods are being ordered to evacuate.

As of 7:30 p.m., evacuations span along South River Road from just north of Creston Road, including Elm Court, to Navajo Avenue. Evacuations are also encompassing Almond Street and Capital Hill Drive but stop just short of Ferro Lane. The city said this current evacuation zone effects 98 households.

At around 4:15 p.m., evacuation orders were expanded to include Rolling Hill, Montbello Oaks, Kleck, and the area up to Highway 46.

Two evacuation sites have been set up at the Paso Robles Veterans Hall at 240 Scott Street and the Senior Center at 270 Scott Street. They will remain open throughout the night.

The North County Animal Hospital is also assisting with animal evacuations and can be reached at 805-238-5882.

As of 7:30 p.m., evacuations have been updated as seen in the map below. If you live outside of the current red zone, you may return to your residence. Anyone inside the red area must evacuate immediately and will be notified with a reverse 911 call.

Road Closures

South River Road is closed from 13th Street/Creston to Navajo Street due to the fire, the police department said. Creston Road is closed from River to the west entrance to Ferro Lane.

Capitol Hill, Elm Court and Almond Street are also completely closed.

The City said street closures can be expected to last through the night.

According to the California Highway Patrol incident log, Caltrans is working to close the northbound Paso Robles Street off-ramp.

About 2,300 Pacific Gas & Electric customers are currently without power according to the utility's outage map. PG&E said power is expected to be restored in six to eight hours.

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