wildfires

Angel Russell/KCBX

Strong, damaging winds have prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to shut off electricity for parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and CalFire SLO said extra crews are on standby with an increased risk of wildfires breaking out.

Issues & Ideas: US fishing industry floundering, debris flow risk and the Channel Islands

Dec 28, 2020

On the December 21 edition of Issues & Ideas, we'll hear a report on how some GOP lawmakers in California oppose business shutdowns because they say there’s no evidence they reduce COVID-19 cases or spikes. And, you’ll hear about how the pandemic is impacting the fishing industry on the entral Coast and beyond, as KCBX speaks with a Central Coast fishing industry official and two academic researchers. Lake Tahoe has finally received a measurable amount of snow, and more is forecasted, but the pandemic has buried the tourist economy there. The rainy season is upon Monterey County and because of this summer’s major wildfires, the season brings a significant risk of debris flows. We have a report on how COVID-19 has affected one Central Valley family. We’ll also hear from a San Luis Obispo business owner about current challenges and opportunities—and the risks her family took during the pandemic to help their business stay afloat. Finally, we’ll learn about a new "un-textbook" written about the Channel Islands.

Issues & Ideas: Election coverage, reparations and internment camp memories

Oct 13, 2020

Among the dozen ballot measures this election, California voters are deciding on Proposition 17 and Proposition 15: we hear more about those two measures. John Laird and Vicki Nohrden are vying for termed-out Bill Monning’s state senate seat. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber chairs the California Black Legislative Caucus, and speaks about which laws she believes can help address systemic racism. We look at the long-term impacts of wildfire on the Central Coast, and we get a look at the local aviation industry. Two elderly friends talk about the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II and how they adjusted to life afterward. And, we hear from a fourth-generation resident about the changes downtown San Luis Obispo has experienced over the years.

Issues & Ideas: A virtual Monterey Jazz Festival, the SLO Botanical Garden and YouthWell

Sep 23, 2020

The Monterey Jazz Festival usually takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds on the third weekend in September, but the 63rd annual festival will be virtual. You'll hear from Beau and Melissa Kramer of Kramer Events talking about the recent challenges of the event business. The University of California at Berkeley is starting a new center to study the science of psychedelics and you’ll hear from one of the center's cofounders—journalist and author Michael Pollan. YouthWell is a nonprofit based in Santa Barbara that provides free mental health workshops and resources for teens, parents, and educators. The San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden’s programs have adapted to the pandemic, and there are big plans for the future. And finally today, you’ll hear a story of stranded hikers trapped in the wilderness by a raging wildfire.

There have been record-setting hurricanes, floods and a pandemic. And this year in California six of the 20 largest wildfires in the state’s history have occurred, many of which are still burning.  News of mass evacuations are heard daily, often with little or no time at all to prepare. These hardships clearly illustrate the importance of emergency preparedness. If a disaster hits, will you be prepared? Would you be ready to go? Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with Paul Deis, Red Cross disaster volunteer, and Dan McGauley, retired firefighter and paramedic with the city of Atascadero, as they discuss the importance of being disaster ready.

Angel Russell

Despite an ongoing pandemic and wildfires causing smoky skies, people are still visiting the Central Coast—but overall tourism is sharply down compared to years' past.

USFS

The US Forest Service plans to help prevent wildfires in the Los Padres National Forest by cutting down trees and chaparral across a 755-acre area of the forest. The Central Coast’s congressman and environmental groups say the project is unchecked and unnecessary.

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.

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. 

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.

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.