San Marcos residents say city decision puts them at greater wildfire risk

Concerns about brush near Lakeview Mobile Estates
San Marcos residents worried about uncleared brush near senior community
Posted at 3:40 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 22:19:42-04

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) — The City of San Marcos is taking action after 10News highlighted concerns by residents in a senior community who said their homes were at greater risk of a wildfire because of untrimmed brush near a creekbed.

The city has cleared brush every year along Discovery Road near Lakeview Mobile Estates, but with an upcoming road-widening project scheduled for the area, the city initially told residents it would delay brush trimming along the San Marcos Creek until crews begin grading work, according to HOA Vice President Jim Woodard.

That work is scheduled to begin in December.

"To save a few dollars and put us in this kind of risk, we're completely vulnerable," he said. "It's just a ticking timebomb."

The brush, which is now taller than six feet in some spots, is just a few feet from the mobile home community's entrance.

"This is the only way in and out of the park, so if there's a fire on this side of the park, we're trapped," Woodard said.

Resident Lee Katola said many of her neighbors are disabled and would have difficulty evacuating during a fire.

"I'm fearful. I'm fearful," she said.

Woodard added, "It's perfect fuel for a fire. One spark coming over from that grass hits that fence, and we're toast."

San Marcos Communications Manager Robin Rockey said the city was aware of the concerns.

"The City of San Marcos Fire Department spoke with residents at Lakeview Mobile Estates and is working to address their concerns and clear brush along Discovery Street," said Rockey. "The fire department is working on setting a time for the next clearing."

Late Thursday, Rockey said the city would clear the brush by Wednesday of next week.

The 214-acre San Marcos Creek Project will include two new bridges, a park, and will widen Discovery Road to four lanes. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2022