Paso Robles weed abatement blamed for blaze that destroyed homes

June 27, 2020

The preliminary findings of a county fire investigation team suggest a Paso Robles weed abatement program likely caused a blaze earlier this week that destroyed two homes and damaged nine other structures.

Shortly before 2 p.m., the fire started in the riverbed near South River Road and Navajo Avenue. Fueled by dry vegetation and high winds, the fire quickly spread, jumping South River Road and moving up the bluffs.

In addition to destroying a couple of homes and damaging others, the blaze threatened a total of 60 residences before firefighters extinguished it. At the peak of the fire, authorities evacuated residents from 559 homes.

Firefighters stopped the forward progress of the blaze about four hours after it started and remained on scene for more than 24 hours to mop up the fire.

Initially, some observers speculated homeless individuals in the riverbed may have started the fire. But, the initial findings of the San Luis Obispo County Fire Investigation Strike Team are that weed abatement operations being conducted along the Navajo pathway likely caused the blaze.

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It was clear that Steve Martin blamed this on the homeless and demanded that equipment be allowed to be used to clear the riverbed of the homeless. Looks like equipment was being used in the riverbed.

Yep I knew it was city works dept related a few minutes into the fire as people who drove by saw where fire started and the anonymous weed abate crew

Last year a similar case was adjudicated in SLO court .Owner of am/pm in SLO hired abatement company … But somehow was ordered to pay all the damages and firefighting cost when crew started a fire .I believe am/pm had to pay 1.5 million .Seems to me abatement company should have been ordered to pay

There is a big electronic sign at the Niblick bridge which states “ Mow before 10am”. Apparently this doesn’t apply to city contractors.

Don’t you know government makes rules for us little people to follow but they don’t have too, or is this case someone working for them.

If it is proven that fire was started by a weed abatement crew (hired by and paid for by the city), then who will be financially liable for the thousands (maybe millions) of dollars spent on fire control + damage to all the homes and property.

As a Paso Robles taxpayer, I hope the weed abatement carried sufficient insurance to pay for this.

The homeowners impacted shouldn’t have their insurance rates go up for this fire.

Darn those homeless! Blameless again.

If we cant scapegoat the poor, who else do we blame problems on, Rich people!?!

Oh my!