Fire departments throughout Santa Barbara County declared the beginning of high fire season on Monday, May 22. In the previous few days alone, fire agencies fought several fires, the largest a 190-acre blaze near New Cuyama, which was started on Saturday by a bird arcing a power line, Captain Dave Zaniboni said, spokesperson for Santa Barbara County Fire. Dubbed the Wasioja Fire, it was contained by the end of Sunday.
The previous Thursday, a hay barn caught fire at Hearts Therapeutic; a six-acre fire that started near Rancho Oso in Paradise Canyon on Friday was extinguished the same day. Two fires on Saturday erupted above the City of Santa Barbara, one behind a home near Parma Park caused by landscaping operations and another in Mission Canyon when a hiker’s car fire was extinguished by residents. Two acres off Cat Canyon Road near Santa Maria also caught fire that day. Peak temperatures hovered in the low 90s for the duration, and winds were quiet.
Residential pile burn permits are suspended during hIgh fire season, Zaniboni reminded, with vegetation clearance inspections beginning in June. Fire departments are increasing personnel and equipment in readiness for the hot season. More information on wildfire planning can be found at the Ready! Set! Go! page at sbcfire.com.