Monday, November 12 , 2018, 3:49 pm | Fair 74º

 
 
 
 

Chimney Fire Grows As State of Emergency Declared for San Luis Obispo County

Fire near Lake Nacimiento had burned 6,400 acres as of Tuesday morning and was 10-percent contained

The Chimney Fire near Lake Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo County was 10-percent contained as of Tuesday morning.
The Chimney Fire near Lake Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo County was 10-percent contained as of Tuesday morning.  (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

The Chimney Fire at Nacimiento Lake had grown to 6,400 acres, with 10 percent containment, as of Tuesday morning, according to Cal Fire.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for San Luis Obispo County because of the Chimney Fire, which has burned thousands of acres, damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of residents, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.

The declaration frees up resources to help with emergency response in the area.

Heavy smoke filled the Heritage Ranch area Monday afternoon, Cal Fire spokesman Bennett Milloy said, as increased firefighting activity took place on the northern edge of the Chimney Fire burning near Nacimiento Lake.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about that,” he said.

Plumes of smoke rises from the Chimney Fire Sunday afternoon. Click to view larger
Plumes of smoke rises from the Chimney Fire Sunday afternoon.  (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

Heritage Ranch is a little more than five miles away and several arms of the lake away from the perimeter of the fire.

There is no threat to the Heritage Ranch community at this time, Milloy said.

Milloy said there was also increased activity along the blaze’s northeastern edge — in the area of Allen and Moon Ridge roads — as firefighters attempted to protect numerous structures there threatened by the fire.

Hot temperatures and dry brush continue to be a problem Monday, he said.

During a morning briefing Monday, officials warned that the area burning has not had a major fire since the 1960s, meaning a lot of dense dry brush could spread the fire quickly during the day if not managed.

The major objective for Monday was to keep the fire from spreading northeast toward the lake edge, where there are many structures that could be threatened.

There are 1,172 personnel assigned to fight the fire.

The evacuation center set up for those impacted by the Chimney Fire is currently on standby, Red Cross worker Ryan McMahon said Monday morning, after no residents utilized the center overnight.

The center is located at George Flamson Middle School in Paso Robles.

No residents checked in to the center Sunday night, he said, so the center was placed on standby pending more information on evacuations Monday morning.

If further evacuations are ordered, the center will re-open.

[Click here for more stories from the San Luis Obispo Tribune.]

— Kaytlyn Leslie is a staff writer for the San Luis Obispo Tribune and can be reached at [email protected]

Officials fighting the Chimney Fire are concerned about dry brush and hot temperatures in the coming days. Click to view larger
Officials fighting the Chimney Fire are concerned about dry brush and hot temperatures in the coming days.  (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews are among the personnel fighting the Chimney Fire near Lake Nacimiento. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews are among the personnel fighting the Chimney Fire near Lake Nacimiento.  (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

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