Residential fire contained in Cambria Sunday
Multiple agencies respond, no injuries reported
– The Cambria Fire Department, in collaboration with several local agencies, successfully controlled a residential fire early Sunday morning. The blaze erupted at 1980 Spencer Street at 2:48 a.m. Engine 5792 took command of the situation, launching an offensive attack that prevented the fire from spreading beyond the structure. The coordinated efforts of the Cambria Fire Department, Cal Fire, Morro Bay Fire, Cambria Community Healthcare District Ambulance, and the Red Cross ensured the safe evacuation of all occupants and their pets, with no reported injuries.
In a related matter, the Cambria Community Service District provided an update on its Weed Abatement Program. The district conducts an annual Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program to mitigate vegetation and hazardous wildland fire fuels on vacant parcels, while Cal Fire manages weed abatement for improved parcels. The program is initiated when the Board declares identified properties to be a public nuisance due to overgrown vegetation and fire hazards.
This year, the district sent notices to owners of 1,890 vacant parcels in April, as required by the health and safety code, notifying them of the need to remove weeds and debris. Many property owners took action prior to the inspection deadline. However, 556 parcels failed inspection, marking a significant increase from previous years when the number typically ranged from 50 to 150, according to a letter posted on Facebook by Community Services District General Manager Matthew McElhenie.
To address the backlog, the district awarded the 2023 Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program contract to Mike Rice on June 8, and adopted a resolution directing the fire chief to abate the offending weeds and debris. Mike Rice commenced clearing vacant lots on Aug. 11.
The project reportedly fell behind schedule, prompting General Manager Matthew McElhenie to mobilize the Cambria Fire Department and facilities and resources staff to accelerate the clearance of these lots. Their joint efforts began on Friday, Sept. 15, and extended throughout the weekend. Furthermore, they will initiate additional weed abatement on district-owned vacant parcels, including the East Ranch, dog park, playing fields, and trails.
Acknowledging the need for improved processes in future years, McElhenie committed to reevaluating weed abatement deadlines and implementing necessary changes to prevent such delays: