Lizzie Fire in San Luis Obispo burns 100 acres, spread stopped

October 30, 2023


The Lizzie Fire burned 100 acres near San Luis Obispo High School on Monday, injuring one firefighter.

Shortly before 3 p.m., a caller reported a fire at the FFA farm behind the high school. The fire quickly spread in the tall, dry grasses in the area.

From both the air and ground, firefighters battled the blaze. Emergency personnel transported a firefighter, who suffered a laceration, to French Hospital Medical Center for treatment.

Officials temporarily evacuated people south of Lizzie Street, east of Fixlini Street and north of Bishop Street. Shortly after 7 p.m., the evacuation order was lifted.

Shortly before 7 p.m., more than 3,000 PG&E customers in SLO lost power because of fire charred poles. Power was restored before 11 p.m.


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Compliments to the fire crews. They jumped all over that and had it under control quickly.

And fires at Cal Poly at the same time. Coincidence? I think not.

The City of SLO needs to contract with owners of goat herds to perform fuel reduction and vegetation management every year in key areas along the city limits where wildfire poses a risk to residential and other developed properties. This simple mitigation technique should have been one of the lessons learned from the multi day, 75,000+ acre, wind-driven Las Pilitas Fire that burned through parts of the city on July 8, 1985. A 200 to 300+ foot wide swath of nibbled short grasses and devoured brush provides a significant buffer zone from an active wildfire seeking the fuel it needs to spread into residential fences and homes. This same principle would have proved beneficial in the case of the Lahaina Fire in Hawaii. Nearly forty years after the Las Pilitas Fire, it isn’t too late to implement a long-delayed lesson learned, San Luis Obispo. Put the goats to work next Spring and make SLO a bit more fire safe.