Prescribed Burning

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Prescribed Burning

  • The planned application of fire to vegetation to achieve any specific objective on lands selected in advance of that application
  • Administered by Land Managers including federal, state, local, or private entities such as the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, National Forest Service, Vandenberg Air Force Base, etc.
  • A prescribed burn should occur on a Burn Day
  • The APCD may authorize limited prescribed burning on a Marginal Burn Day, when smoke impacts to sensitive areas are not expected as a result (see APCD Rule 401.C.3.c)
  • Prescribed Burns require a Smoke Management Plan, approved by the APCD
  • Requirements specified in APCD Rule 401, Agricultural and Prescribed Burning

Smoke Management Plans

  • Ensure minimal adverse effects on public health from smoke associated with a prescribed burn
  • Identify the following:
    • Public notification methods
    • Coordination with California Air Resources Board (CARB) and other Air Districts
    • Expected meteorological conditions
    • Smoke modeling
    • Meteorological and air monitoring methods
    • Information about the vegetation to be burned
    • Estimated particulate matter emissions
    • Fire suppression techniques
  • Prepared for each prescribed burn by the Land Manager
  • Reviewed and approved by the APCD
  • More information on requirements available in Section D of APCD Rule 401

Prescribed Burn Process for Land Managers

  1. Beginning of the calendar year: Land Managers submit list of expected prescribed burns for the calendar year.
  2. At least 4 weeks before Prescribed Burn: Land Manager submits Smoke Management Plan to APCD using CARB Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS).
  3. Within 1 week after Smoke Management Plan submittal: APCD reviews Smoke Management Plan and provides feedback to Land Manager. Smoke Management Plan approved by APCD after all feedback is addressed.
  4. At least 2-3 weeks before Prescribed Burn: Land Manager drafts 1st News Release and submits to APCD for review. Contact [email protected] for the 1st News Release template. Final 1st News Release jointly issued by Land Manager and APCD.
  5. At least 1 day before Prescribed Burn: Land Manager drafts 2nd Media Release and submits to APCD for review. Contact [email protected] for the 2nd Media Release template. Final 2nd Media Release jointly issued by Land Manager and APCD.
  6. At least 1 day before each day of the Prescribed Burn: Land Manager submits ignition request using CARB Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS). APCD reviews ignition request and approves or denies.
  7. Within 1 week after Prescribed Burn: Land Manager submits Completed Acreage Report for the prescribed burn using CARB Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS)
  8. Within 30 days after Prescribed Burn: If burn was greater than 250 acres, Land Manager submits the Post-Burn Smoke Management Evaluation to the APCD. Requirements are specified in APCD Rule 401.D.8.
  9. By February 1st of each year: Land Managers submit a report with the estimated tonnage burned in prescribed burning during the prior calendar year.

For more information or assistance, e-mail the District at [email protected].

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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.