FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2019
Jesse Hendricks, Prescribed Fire Burn Boss, Vandenberg AFB Fire Department, (805) 606-5380
Lyz Hoffman, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County APCD, (805) 961-8819
Prescribed Burns at VAFB Scheduled
Purisima Burn to Occur Before End of October
Minuteman Burn Approved to Occur Before End of 2019
VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. — The Vandenberg AFB Fire Department has been scheduled to conduct two different series of prescribed burns before the end of 2019. The goal of these burns is to reduce the risk of wildfire. Prescribed, or planned, fires typically burn less intensely than wildfires. Prescribed burns can help prevent the spread of wildfires, and can reduce impacts to watersheds that can result in soil loss and sedimentation.
Purisima Burn: This prescribed burn will occur at Purisima Point Beach, with a burn window of September 15 through October 31. Approximately 30 acres of grassland and coastal sage scrub will be burned over a period of three-to-six days. The burn will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 6 p.m. on permissive burn days.
Minuteman Burn: This prescribed burn will occur near Minuteman Beach, with a burn window of October 1 through December 20. Approximately 50 acres of grassland and coastal sage scrub will be burned over a period of three-to-six days. The burn will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 6 p.m. on permissive burn days.
Once the optimal burn days have been selected within the burn window for each burn, additional public notification will be provided the day before the burn begins.
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff have reviewed the Smoke Management Plans for these burns and provided conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burns will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.
These prescribed burns are planned and coordinated by Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and California Air Resources Board to minimize air quality impacts on surrounding communities. The burns depend on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burns will be rescheduled.
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 burns. 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.
To view prescribed burns throughout the state, visit the Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS).