Burn Program Changes Launched Today

December 17, 2018


En Español

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

Burn Program Changes Launched Today
Improvements for Permitted Pile Burns

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced changes that will go into effect today affecting permitted pile burns. Pile burns are permitted by the County Fire Department and fall into three categories: Agricultural, Hazard Reduction, and Residential Backyard. Permitted pile burns are different from prescribed burns; prescribed burns involve standing vegetation and are performed by land managers, including fire agencies.

These changes address common concerns from county residents regarding air quality and fire safety, and apply to the areas of the county served by the County Fire Department. The changes affecting permitted pile burns will reduce air quality impacts to neighboring communities and include:

  • Revising ignition times
    • 10am start time for all categories in the Santa Ynez Valley
    • 10am start time for all Residential Backyard burns countywide
    • 7am start time for Agricultural and Hazard Reduction outside of the Santa Ynez Valley
  • Implementing No-Burn Township Areas (see map), where no permit burning will be allowed*
    • Areas based on county urban limit lines
    • Clustered residential parcels 3 acres or less

* Recreation fires are still allowed.

* The Santa Ynez Valley Township Area will have an approximately one-year grace period for previous permit holders, with the change effective when the County Fire Department transitions to a Winter Preparedness Level in Winter 2019/2020.

  • Allowing separate Burn Day determinations for four Santa Barbara County burn zones (see map titled “South Central Coast Burn Zones” below)
  • Limiting pile sizes for Hazard Reduction and Residential Backyard burns to 6’ diameter, 4’ height
  • Launching Burn Permit Information Map (see link below) showing active burn permits and Township Areas, with address search capability

All types of burning are only allowed on permissive burn days as determined by the California Air Resources Board, County Fire Department, and Air Pollution Control District. Burn days are determined by the time of year and the weather. Every day, the County Fire Department announces on a recorded phone line (see number below) whether permit burning is allowed. The burn day designation is now also available on the County Fire Department website (see link below). The designation of a burn day applies only to holders of current burn permits and does not grant permission for unpermitted burns.

Santa Barbara County residents who conduct permitted pile burns are encouraged to adhere to best practices including not burning trash and burn safely and with consideration for neighbors. People are also encouraged to consider alternatives to burning, such as chipping. Find more information: www.sbcfire.com/chipping.

More Information

Burn Day Phone Line: (805) 686-8177

South Central Coast Burn Zones Map

South Central Coast Burn Zones

No-Burn Township Areas (in red)

No-Burn Township Areas

No-Burn Township Areas Santa Ynez and SB South Coast

No-Burn Township Areas

air pollution control district logo

New Phone Numbers
The District has new direct lines for all staff, as well as for all of our phone lines, including our main phone number and Complaints line. You can find our new phone numbers on this webpage.

Nuevos números de teléfono
El Distrito tiene nuevos números de teléfono para comunicarse con el personal directamente, así como también para todas nuestras líneas telefónicas, incluyendo nuestro número principal y el de las Quejas. Puede encontrar nuestros nuevos números de teléfono en esta página web.