Time to clear lots, lower fire risk

ktanner@thetribunenews.comMay 30, 2013 

As Cambria heads into its official 2013 Fire Hazard/Fuel Reduction season (weed abatement), the sound of chain saws and weed whackers already can be heard throughout town.

The Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors proclaimed May 23 that the rapidly drying grasses, brush and weeds on 1,826 vacant parcels of land — many of them adjacent to properties with structures on them — are a public nuisance.

That proclamation allowed district staffers to mail notices the next day to owners of those vacant lots, telling them to clear the hazards according to district code.

Most people will do the work themselves or hire a professional to do it for them by the July 12 deadline. Those who do not will have to pay additional charges when the district’s contractor does the clearing for them. Last year, the contractor cleared 54 lots; 29 property owners have paid those bills. The 36 who did not will find the charge on their 2013-2014 property tax bills.

The 2013 contract is to be awarded June 27; the contractor can start clearing lots a month later, and has three weeks to finish.

Just 16 new lots were added to the list this year, according to Fire Chief Mark Miller, who explained that additions usually are because the status of a lot next door has changed.

“Maybe the lot was merged with another that has a house on it,” he said, “or a home has been built there.”  It’s all about maintaining defensible space for homes and other structures.

For details, contact Cambria Fire Department at 927-6240.

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