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CAL FIRE preparing for extreme start to Peak Fire Season


Monday was the official start of Peak Fire Season along the Central Coast, with agencies in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties joining forces in preparation. 

The move ensures staffing at all California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) offices, including Station No. 11 in Cayucos which had been temporarily closed as part of a money saving measure.

CAL FIRE San Luis Obiso Chief Robert Lewin said the fire danger indicator signs were moved to "high" on Monday and there's potential for more severe conditions later in the week.

"Over the next couple of days, we're actually going to experience some strong winds, we're going to be doing some extra staffing," said Lewin. "We're going to move some equipment from other parts of the state into the Santa Barbara area because of the elevated winds, and so we may see 'extreme' in the next day or two, particularly in Santa Barbara County."

Lewin said this season is likely going to be a tough one based on the pattern of rain and heat we had this winter and spring. He says there is a lot of vegetation that now dying, including grasses where many wildfires start before moving into the brush, which is tougher to bring under control.