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Cal Fire clearing brush near Santa Margarita to cut wildfire threat

A tree stump burns near a residence along Parkhill Road in Santa Margarita.
A tree stump burns near a residence along Parkhill Road in Santa Margarita. The Tribune

Cal Fire is creating a fuel break east of Santa Margarita to reduce the threat of wildfire as part of a recent sweep of more than $9.5 million in statewide grants to help protect homes amid the drought, according to a news release.

Of that sum, roughly $300,000 will go toward clearing vegetation in the Parkhill area, which in 2013 was among San Luis Obispo County’s top fire hazard areas as a result of heavy grasses, record dry vegetation and difficult topography.

In 2012, a fast-moving wildland fire torched 640 acres of oak woodland through Parkhill after a landowner was clearing star thistle, an invasive weed, with a mower. Evacuations took place, but no structures were damaged. One firefighter was injured. It was the first major fire in that area in 50 years, Cal Fire officials previously said.

The state grants are designed to supplement Cal Fire’s ongoing activities to help counteract the effects of drought and were awarded to applicants who pitched projects that addressed fire risk to homes and also showed community support and project feasibility, according to the news release.

The dates for when the Parkhill fuel break project will take place weren't immediately available​ Tuesday​.

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