At 8 a.m. this morning, June 14, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, in conjunction with all other fire jurisdictions, declared the start of high fire season. Applicable to the entire county, the designation means all burn permits for hazard reduction will be suspended and that County Fire will be increasing its resources — engines, dozers, crews, helicopters, etc. — when responding to vegetation fires.
This past weekend, firefighters quickly doused two small brushfires. On Sunday afternoon, a vehicle fire on Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma spread to nearby vegetation, but responders were able to contain it and prevent the blaze from spreading further. One lane of traffic was blocked temporarily.
Later that afternoon, a brushfire ignited and was knocked down near Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta. The flames reportedly jumped to a few eucalyptus trees before crews were able to get it under control. Fire officials are looking into the cause of the fire, and nobody was injured in either incident.
Authorities are encouraging residents to be extra vigilant during the high fire season by maintaining vegetation clearance around buildings, being cautious and aware when traveling in the backcountry, and becoming familiar with their “Ready! Set! Go!” action plan.