Information on Three Prescribed Burns Planned Through December

October 29, 2020

En Español

Lyz Hoffman, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County APCD, (805) 961-8819
Mike Eliason, Public Information Officer, Santa Barbara County Fire, (805) 896-5134

Information on Three Prescribed Burns Planned through December

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Fire Department plans to conduct three separate prescribed burns through December. Prescribed 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.

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff review the Smoke Management Plans and provide conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burns will occur when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers. Once the burn day has been selected for each burn, a day-before media advisory will be issued.

Moniqhetti – by mid-November
This Range Improvement Burn will occur approximately 5.5 miles northeast of Lompoc, 5.5 miles west of Los Alamos, and 9 miles south of Orcutt. Approximately 220 acres of sage scrub and Oak Woodland with grass understory will be burned. This will be a one-day burn.

Bar M – mid-November to early December
This is a State-approved Vegetation Management Program (VMP) burn to reduce old growth fuel loads with a range improvement component. It will occur approximately 4 miles southeast of Los Alamos at the BarM Ranch (also known as Barham Ranch). Approximately 406 acres of sage scrub and Oak Woodland with grass understory will be burned. This burn will occur over 1-2 days.

Spaulding / Midland – mid-November or early December
This is a State-approved Vegetation Management Program (VMP) burn aimed at strategic vegetation fuel reduction and ecological restoration, with the goal of removing significant dead and down fuel loads adjacent to identified wildland/urban interface areas of concern. This burn will occur approximately 3 miles north of Los Olivos. Approximately 1,512 acres of chaparral, sage scrub, and Oak Woodland with grass understory will be burned. This burn will occur over 3-4 days.

These prescribed burns are planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, 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 is dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn 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 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.

For more information regarding the county’s air quality, visit Today’s Air Quality.

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

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