by Debbie Arnold, SLO County Board of Supervisors
Fall is here. The Fall months are usually beautiful along the Central Coast, and also very busy. Atascadero hosts its Colony Days celebration, and I am excited to once again participate in the Colony Days parade. Many thanks to the Colony Days committee who works tirelessly all year to organize a wonderful celebration of Atascadero’s founding and history. Tent City will once again take us back in time to experience Atascadero as it was over a hundred years ago.
Fall also means Greyhound Football is back in season, bringing a lot of excitement to the downtown area. With so many new businesses open in downtown, it’s a great time to enjoy all Atascadero has to offer.
Fall is also a time when tourists flock to the north county to enjoy some great weather along the coast, experience the excitement of the wine country grape harvest, or to enjoy some of the great music at one of the many concert venues.
Fall is really a special time of year in Atascadero, but it is also the time of year that we must be thinking about fire danger. Wild land fire danger poses a real threat to the north county. The fall months can be the most threatening, in part due to the Santa Ana winds that often create hot, dry conditions. 2018 was the most destructive fire season on record in California. There were over 8,500 fires in California last year, burning almost 2 million acres. The deadliest of those fires was the Camp Fire that burned in Butte County in November of last year. Not only do we need to be prepared for wildfires, we need to be ready for electric power lines to be shut off when we experience warm windy days.
Take some time to prepare an emergency plan for your family this fall. Be sure you have batteries, flashlights, and water in case of emergency. A battery-operated weather radio is an inexpensive way to insure you are able to get accurate information during an emergency. With the recent concerns of power line shut offs, you may want to think about keeping the gas tank in your car full, and phone batteries charged.
The Fire Safe Council in San Luis Obispo County, working in conjunction with CalFire, has done a lot of work to prevent wildfires from getting out of control, but being prepared is the best way to avoid catastrophe. Take that few minutes to check the defensible space around your home and on your property and create your own emergency plan.
Let’s all enjoy this beautiful Fall season in Atascadero and work together to create a safe community!
It is an honor to serve as your Fifth District Supervisor,