The Cambrian

Cambria’s Wildland Urban Interface drill, fire safety fair set

Several fires burned along Highway 1 in Cayucos on Sunday afternoon.
Several fires burned along Highway 1 in Cayucos on Sunday afternoon.

Cal Fire’s 2016 Wildfire Awareness Week (May 3-9) is winding down, and officials across the state have begun to declare that wildfire season has begun. Several small fires in Cayucos on Sunday, May 1, served as a reminder of how quickly and easily a fire can start, even when most of the North Coast’s thick brush and grasses are still fairly moist and green, having been nourished by winter/spring rainfall.

Here’s a reminder for motorists and anybody concerned about a large number of fire engines, emergency vehicles and firefighters in Cambria on Thursday, May 5: This is a daylong drill. This is only a drill.

Also, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group will host a Fire Safe Fair of Cinco de Mayo, open to the public, in the Santa Rosa Catholic Church parking lot, 1174 Main St.

At press deadline Tuesday, forecasts called for possible late-season rain starting Thursday, but the drill and the fair will happen rain or shine, according to organizers.

Suzy McDonald, co-organizer of the fair, said any booths that could be negatively affected by any drizzle or rainfall can be moved into the church’s Parish Hall.

The fair is to include informational booths, demonstrations (including a fire demonstration), free fire-extinguisher recharging and special guest speaker John Lindsey, PG&E meteorologist, media specialist and columnist for The Tribune and Cambrian.

Food will be available for purchase, and Mojo’s Village Bean is providing coffee for attendees and participants of the fair and the drill.

The drill

From about 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Wildland Urban Interface Preparedness Exercise (WUI) crews will train and rehearse in Cambria for a time when one hits this or other areas of the Central Coast. Crews are expected to arrive from all over San Luis Obispo County and from some areas of Santa Barbara County, according to officials planning the all-day training session.

Among the areas being targeted are upper Lodge Hill and Strawberry Canyon, Lodge Hill parallel to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and Pineknolls. Firefighters are to debrief at the Veterans Memorial Building.

Cambria residents most likely to be affected by the wildland urban interface exercise are those who live along Burton, Pineridge and Hillcrest drives; Warren Road; Victoria, Manor and Greystone ways; Iva Court; and

Tipton, Trenton, Northhampton and Suffolk streets.