FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2019
Dave Zaniboni, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, (805) 681-5531
Lyz Hoffman, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County APCD, (805) 961-8819
Burton Mesa Pile Burning Project
To be Scheduled, Weather and Conditions Permitting, February 25 through June 1
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Fire Department will be conducting pile burns in the Burton Mesa area over several days starting as early as February 25 and through June 1. The goal of these burns is to reduce biomass created as the result of community defensible space treatments completed by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department last year. Community defensible space treatments help to reduce potential property loss as well as reduce the risk to homeowners in the event of wildfire.
Approximately 60 piles will be burned throughout the burn window. Burning operations are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m. on permissive burn days. Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff have reviewed the Smoke Management Plan and provided conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.
This series of pile burns is coordinated with the Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. The burn project is dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn project will be suspended until conditions are favorable.
Due to changing winds and weather conditions, it is difficult to predict which areas of the county, if any, may be most affected by smoke from the burn. If you smell smoke, take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities. When you can smell smoke or when it is visible in your area, avoid strenuous outdoor activity and remain indoors as much as possible. These precautions are especially important to children, older adults, and those with heart and lung conditions. If you are sensitive to smoke, consider temporarily relocating and closing all doors and windows on the day of the burn. Symptoms of smoke exposure can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea, and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. Please use caution while driving near prescribed fire operations.