A fire burning on the hillside above San Luis Obispo High School has forced evacuations in the neighborhoods nearby.
The fire, which is burning southeast and could reach 250 acres, started at around 2:45 p.m. Monday behind the FFA farm building at the high school.
Evacuation orders lifted for residents
Update, 7:50 p.m.:
The evacuation order has been lifted for residents in the vicinity of the Lizzie Fire, the San Luis Obispo Fire Department tweeted Monday evening.
Evacuees can return home but should be prepared to evacuate if conditions change, the Fire Department warned.
The city said an evacuation warning is still in effect and will likely remain overnight for homes in the immediate vicinity.
If evacuation orders are issued overnight, community members will be notified via Wireless Emergency Alerts, the city said.
People are asked to avoid the area if they do not live there.
Fire resources are expected to remain on scene working throughout the night, and 300 additional personnel have been assigned to the fire for day operations tomorrow morning, the city said.
A reconnaissance flight is planned to fly over the fire at 8 a.m.
Lizzie Fire now 10% contained
Update, 6:30 p.m.:
As darkness fell, the Fire Department said the Lizzie Fire was 10% and holding at 100 acres.
Additional resources were joining the intense response from aerial and ground units, and the department said the two other fires near Cal Poly have been contained.
Lizzie Street fire reaches 100 acres, city’s emergency manager says
Update, 5:45 p.m.:
James Blattler, emergency manager for the city of San Luis Obispo, said the fire has reached about 100 acres.
Both evacuation orders and evacuation warnings have been issued for San Luis Obispo residents, depending on their proximity to the fire.
Evacuation orders were issued for residents south of Lizzie Street, east of Fixlini Street and north of Bishop Street, Blattler said.
Anyone who leaves the evacuation order area cannot return until further notice, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) from the SLO City Fire Department.
Evacuation warnings were issued for residents east of Johnson Avenue and south of San Luis Drive, he said.
“We’re asking residents to be hyper-vigilant, hyper-aware of their surroundings. If they feel unsafe, please use that feeling as a signal to go,” Blattler said.
Johnson Avenue is shut down along Laurel Lane and San Luis Drive to help residents evacuate if needed.
Firefighters from various agencies are tackling the blaze from the ground and the air, he said.
“We have fire resources focused on all sides of this fire,” he said. “We have structural protection in place all along Johnson Avenue in the homes that have been threatened by this fire.”
All evacuation information will be updated on ReadySLO.org now throughout the night, he said.
Residents who were evacuated should go to the Madonna Shopping Center, where a temporary evacuation site has been established.
Not all residents near fire are evacuating, despite warnings
Update, 5:30 p.m.:
Jess Weaver was filling up buckets of water on Lizzie Street and told the Tribune she did not plan to evacuate, despite being directed to do so.
Even amid embers landing on porch furniture and a tree burning in the backyard, Weave said she doesn’t feel frenzied.
“Honestly, I’m calm,” Weaver said. “You have to be calm in this situation.”
Weaver said her main concern was making sure her house doesn’t burn and that her animals are safe — she has carriers in place, just in case.
“It’s a little close to home, obviously. It’s in the backyard,” Weaver said. “In reality, this is San Luis Obispo County. We always have fire here.
“You just have to make sure you have a plan.”
Neighbors react to Lizzie Street fire: ‘They’re really on top of it’
Update, 5:15 p.m.: Wilding Lane resident Rachel McManus told the Tribune she and her dog are ready to go if an evacuation is necessary.
Mark Fleming of Wilding Court said the rapid response from firefighters has been encouraging.
“They’re really on top of it,” Fleming said. “It was really bad before, but it hasn’t gone this way too much.”
Fleming lived through a fire before in San Diego when the house next door burned down.
Fleming packed his photos, passports and business papers and planned to wait it out, but he fled after the eucalyptus grove between Wilding and Lizzie went up in flames.
Many people ran to their cars after the eucalyptus grove lit up.
Lizzie Street fire burning in two spots
Update, 5 p.m.:
Two columns were burning in the fire near San Luis Obispo High School.
One column was behind the probation building on Johnson Avenue, the second is behind the high school.
At the high school, the blaze reached the trees and continues to spread rapidly.
More fires reported in San Luis Obispo
Update, 5 p.m.:
The Lizzie Fire wasn’t the only fire in the county Monday afternoon.
Two more blazes were burning in San Luis Obispo — these near Cal Poly.
The newest fires were burning near the Highland Drive entrance to the university, according to emergency scanner chatter.
SLO High School cancels extracurricular activities
Update, 4:30 p.m.:
All extracurricular activities at San Luis Obispo High School are canceled due to the fire, San Luis Coastal Unified School District Superintendent Eric Prater said in an email to families.
Classes are to resume as usual Tuesday morning, Prater said in the email.
Planes dropped fire retardant on the flames and created a line between the fire and campus and neighboring homes, he said.
More firefighters respond to SLO blaze
Update, 4 p.m.:
San Luis Obispo City firefighters set a staging area for firefighting personnel at the old county hospital off of Bishop Street, according to scanner chatter on Pulsepoint.
Firefighting resources from across the county have been dispatched to the fire behind San Luis Obispo High School.
The Public Health building and probation offices in the Johnson Avenue area have closed “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Classes were canceled Tuesday afternoon at San Luis Coastal Adult School due to the fire.
Residents have been ordered to evacuate as firefighters respond to a vegetation fire burning on a hillside above San Luis Obispo High School.
Evacuations have been ordered for residents south of Lizzie Street, east of Fixlini Street and north of Bishop Street, according to a post from SLO City Fire.
The blaze is traveling southeast while sending up a dark column of smoke.
It has a moderate rate of spread and is expected to run to the ridge, according to scanner chatter on Pulsepoint.
The fire is currently is at 50 acres but has the potential to spread to 250 acres, according to Pulsepoint.
Fire appears to have started behind SLO High School
Eric Prater, superintendent of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, said it appears the fire started behind the SLO High School FFA farm.
The high school campus and district buildings have been evacuated, Prater said, including the farm animals.
“The positive here is that no one has been injured, everyone is evacuated, and it looks like the Fire Department is working hard to slow the spread,” Prater said.
The flames are reaching the top of High School Hill and moving closer to homes off of Lizzie Street, Prater noted.
Where to pick up SLO High School students
Students were evacuated to Holt Stadium, away from the fire, according to an email sent to San Luis Obispo High School parents and shared with The Tribune.
Students needing to be picked up from school or take the bus will be waiting along San Luis Drive, the email said.