Monday was the official start of Peak Fire Season along the Central Coast, with agencies in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties joining forces in preparation.
The move ensures staffing at all California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) offices, including Station No. 11 in Cayucos which had been temporarily closed as part of a money saving measure.
CAL FIRE San Luis Obiso Chief Robert Lewin said the fire danger indicator signs were moved to "high" on Monday and there's potential for more severe conditions later in the week.
Local leaders are working to keep a small San Luis Obispo County fire station from closing later this week. Cal Fire Station No. 11 in Cayucos is seasonal, and scheduled to temporarily shut its doors on Friday as part of a money-saving measure.
During the winter months, the station is operated under a joint agreement funded by the local Fire Protection District (FPD). To save money, the FPD wants to close early.
Cal Fire will reopen the station in mid-April as part of the state's fire season staffing plan.
Central Coast Investigators are working with federal agencies to follow up on an emergency plane landing Friday morning in southern San Luis Obispo County, near Highway 166.
"A portion of that highway was closed to allow the plane to land," said sheriff's spokesperson Tony Cipolla in an email to KCBX. "The aircraft landed in a riverbed adjacent to highway 166 and flipped upside down."
There were two occupants on board the plane at the time of the landing, a male and female. Neither needed any medical attention, according to Cipolla.
All of the wet weather the Central Coast is receiving this December has put an official end to fire season in the Los Padres National Forest, something that failed to happen last year.
Cal Fire says the high fire season is over for the first time since spring of 2013.
Unit Forester Alan Peters says the declaration gives fire crews time to engage in some training and other activities they can't do during peak season. While Central Coast hills have received enough moisture and greening to drop the fire level, Peters says the declaration could be short-lived.
Roughly 240 members of the California National Guard arrived at Camp Roberts Monday to being four days of intensive training on line-crew firefighting.
The guard supports the state's fire suppression efforts on an annual basis but not since 2007 has the need been great enough to warrant this level of training, said Captain Kara Siepmann.
"So that's about two days of classroom and two days in the field wearing their full protective equipment that Cal Fire issues them, and then they're ready to be deployed should the fire spark large enough to need them," said Siepmann.
Cal Fire strike teams from Monterey to Santa Barbara are on the front lines of wildfires burning in Northern California and the Sierra Nevada.
However, all of this support has the San Luis Obispo County Fire Department stretched to critical levels. San Luis Obispo Cal Fire entered a Level 2 critical resource draw down Tuesday.
"We have a lot of firefighters going to the several Northern California fires. So we cannot send out a lot more because we're at draw down. We have to keep the home front covered," said Tina Rose, a spokesperson for SLO County Cal Fire.
Crews and equipment from Cal Fire stations in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Monterey Counties are helping efforts to control the Hunters Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Mariposa County.
Each of the three Central Coast counties has sent roughly the same number of resources; five engines and 18 to 20 firefighters.
At 1300 acres and just 20 percent containment (Tuesday afternoon numbers) the Hunters Fire is the most serious active blaze burning in California.