SANTA BARBARA, Ca. December 9, 2014 – As of 8 am on December 8th, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, in cooperation with the Operational Area Fire Departments, has transitioned from a High Fire Season to a Winter Preparedness Level. This transition is in response to current rainfall totals throughout the County and the projected shift in weather patterns that will influence fuel moisture levels.
Response levels may vary on a daily basis based on predicted weather patterns and local fuel moisture levels. If the potential exists, staffing levels can be increased. The response levels will be evaluated each day during the Winter Preparedness Level.
With the transition to the Winter Preparedness Level, the ban on permit burning within State Responsibility Areas (SRA) and Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) within the jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department will be lifted. Individuals with a valid permit may resume permitted burning in Santa Barbara County.
Prior to issuance of a permit, all burn sites and piles will be inspected by Santa Barbara County Fire Department for compliance with the appropriate permit conditions.
Although the fire danger has decreased considerably, it is still possible to have wildfires during the winter months in Southern California. Santa Barbara County residents are encouraged to continue to reduce flammable vegetation around their structures, property and roads. Through the Ready! Set! Go! Program, land owners have the opportunity to be educated about issues concerning defensible space and vegetation removal.