wildfire

Evacuation order lifted as Cave Fire threat diminishes

Nov 27, 2019
Mike Eliason/SBC Fire

As of Wednesday morning, despite over an inch of rain overnight, firefighters continue to battle a wildfire in the mountains above Santa Barbara. A portion of Highway 154 remains closed, but all evacuation orders have been lifted after the Cave Fire broke out in the Los Padres National Forest, near the top of San Marco Pass Road in Santa Barbara County, on Monday afternoon. 

SLO County dodges coming power shutoffs, for now

Oct 8, 2019

As of Wednesday, all of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey counties remain off the list for current public safety power shutoffs taking place across the state.

Prevention is the key to public safety, and fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire, how to prevent fires and how to reduce wildfire risk.

On this week's episode of Issues & Ideas: Do you want to make your home wildfire resistant? A landscape design expert says much of the conventional wisdom about native landscapes and fire is wrong. Greg Rubin, president and founder of California's Own Native Landscape Design, is coming to San Luis Obispo on August 1 to share techniques he has developed to create sustainable, ecologically responsible, fire-resistant landscapes. 

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Residents of town of Paradise, destroyed in last year’s Camp Fire, are preparing to make some decisions on plans to rebuild. To assist in the process, students from California Polytechnic State University—Cal Poly—in San Luis Obispo have been working on envisioning a re-design of the town, part of a design studio course for third-year architecture students. This week they traveled to Northern California to unveil their finished, contemporary proposals and ideas for a new downtown Paradise. The students were excited to show off their hard work, but some in the community weren’t ready for such a forward-thinking approach to rebuilding a town with a rustic past.

On this week’s Issues and Ideas, we hear about a local mission to preserve the story of winemaking in our region. The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County is a museum without walls; we speak with Heather Muran and Libbie Agran about the effort to bring the county's wine history to life through unique exhibits. Also, learn more about the sleep disorder narcolepsy from local patient-activist Ashley Allen.

There could be an app for detecting wildfires

Apr 26, 2019
Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory

Predicting when a heat wave or wildfire hits in California could be as easy as looking to an app.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

A group of architecture students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo met with Governor Gavin Newsom's office Thursday afternoon. The students have been working to reimagine Paradise, California, with plans to rebuild the town mostly destroyed by November’s Camp Fire. They're presenting an update of their work to the Paradise community Friday.

CALmatters

Russians hack Ukraine’s electricity network, turning lights off and on at will, rendering the country’s best tech hands helpless to intervene. North Korea takes over the controls of a South Korean nuclear power plant. Snipers with high-velocity rifles unleash a fusillade on a transmission station near San Jose, inflicting $15 million in damage.

It’s not the plot of the latest spy novel. Rather, it’s small sampling of actual attacks, the kind of sabotage against vulnerable energy systems that can cut off power with the click of a mouse and bring officials to their knees.

California wildfires: How you can help

Nov 14, 2018
NBC News

In response to the deadly fires that have burned through hundreds of thousands of acres and displaced thousands across California, organizations around the state are providing relief to the victims of these fires. Many are requesting monetary donations rather than items. Here are some of the ways you can help:

Daniel Schwen

California will be changing the way it manages forests and wild lands near urban areas, after a Central Coast lawmaker’s bills relating to wildfire management and response were signed into law.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

Wildfires continue to burn across California. In the northern part of the state, a fire that’s burned tens of thousands of acres and forced many to evacuate has now jumped into Oregon. Over the weekend a rash of high temperatures and dry winds sparked fires across the Central Coast and in southern California. A fast-moving fire in the city of Goleta tore through 100 acres and destroyed 13 homes in a matter of hours.

Anita Ritenour/Flickr

With a heat wave on the horizon, public safety officials along the Central Coast are reminding residents and visitors celebrating Independence Day that all fireworks are completely illegal to use or even possess. Except where they are legal.

Insurance claims from NorCal fires top $1 billion

Oct 20, 2017
Lesley McClurg/KQED

Total damage estimates for the most destructive week of fires in California history are now topping a billion dollars. The state released preliminary numbers Thursday based on insurance claims. 

Wildfire prompts evacuations on Cal Poly campus

Sep 27, 2017
Andy Zink

An intense vegetation fire ignited Tuesday afternoon on the hills above the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo. Two residence halls - Sierra Madre and Yosemite - were evacuated, and officials directed students to the campus's Mott Gym. Cal Poly president Jeffrey Armstrong said all students are safe.

Whittier Fire Update: 87 percent containment

Jul 23, 2017
Whittier Fire Incident Command

The wildfire that ignited July 8 near Lake Cachuma has burned 29 square miles as of Sunday. Fire officials report the Whittier Fire is now 87 percent contained, but it may be the end of the month before the forest blaze is totally extinguished.

Brush fire ignites on Nipomo Mesa

Jul 23, 2017
Courtesy of CalFire SLO

A vegetation fire broke out Thursday afternoon on the Nipomo Mesa in San Luis Obispo County. 

Cambria brush fire forces evacuations

Jul 19, 2017
Megan Schellong/KCBX

UPDATE 7/19/17 8 A.M.: Firefighters extinguished the fire Tuesday night, with three acres burned. All streets are open. 

UPDATE 7/18/17 5 P.M.: Just before 5 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted and CalFire reported good progress made towards containment. 

A fire ignited early Tuesday afternoon in downtown Cambria, prompting San Luis Obispo County to issue evacuation orders for residences and businesses along Main Street and Bridge Street.

Vegetation fire ignites on Foxen Canyon Road

Jul 18, 2017
David Zaniboni/Santa Barbara County Fire

UPDATE 7/18/17 11 A.M.: As of Tuesday morning, 40 percent of the wildfire is contained, as firefighters held back the flames from burning more than 40 acres. Foxen Canyon Road is open.

UPDATE 7/17/17 6 P.M.: Forward motion on the fire stopped at 35 acres. 

Broadcast date: 7/20/17

It is shaping up to be a long and dangerous fire season ahead, with more heat and overgrown brush on the horizon. Already Cal Fire is reporting that for the period between January 1 of 2017 and July 9 of 2017, it has seen 2,905 fires, burning more than 68,129 acres, that’s 657 more incidents, and 37,555 acres more than the previous year. What can individuals and communities do to prepare and adapt to this increased risk of wildfire?

KCBX News, Randol White

UPDATE: October 31, 2016

October was a very wet month for the Central Coast, bringing widespread above-average rainfall totals to Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

Randol White, KCBX News

Some hotter than normal temperatures have arrived on the Central Coast and are expectd to peak this coming weekend. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

Richard Abrams with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management says the agency works closely with public health and county fire at times like this.

Dennis Lee, ODF

Roughly 240 members of the California National Guard arrived at Camp Roberts Monday to being four days of intensive training on line-crew firefighting.

The guard supports the state's fire suppression efforts on an annual basis but not since 2007 has the need been great enough to warrant this level of training, said Captain Kara Siepmann.

"So that's about two days of classroom and two days in the field wearing their full protective equipment that Cal Fire issues them, and then they're ready to be deployed should the fire spark large enough to need them," said Siepmann.

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