Cultural Burn at UCSB to Occur September 13

September 12, 2023

En Español

Lyz Bantilan, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County APCD, (805) 979-8283
Scott Safechuck, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County Fire, (805) 681-5531

Cultural Burn at UCSB to Occur September 13

WHAT: Prescribed cultural burn of approximately 14 acres of restored native perennial grassland.

WHEN: September 13, depending on conditions. The burn will be ignited in several small plots, each of which could burn for 20-30 minutes. This time of year is when cultural burns were traditionally practiced.

WHERE: UCSB’s North Campus Open Space.

WHY: This one-day burn will restore traditional practices that enhance the biodiversity of native grasslands. It will also help the community reconnect to the land, plants, and wildlife by learning about the long history of indigenous burning. Prescribed, or planned, fires typically burn less intensely than wildfires. The burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.

WHO: This prescribed burn is planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, members of multiple bands of the Chumash, and with Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities.

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS: 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. Use caution when driving near prescribed burns due to reduced visibility.

A portable air monitor will be set up in the area to monitor air quality conditions.

This burn depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn will be rescheduled.

To view a statewide prescribed burn map and other features, visit the Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS) website: