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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Los Padres National Forest has tentatively scheduled a prescribed burn at Figueroa Mountain and various administrative sites on forest lands (Campgrounds, Trailheads, and Fire Stations) with a burn window of December through April. The goal of the burns is to reduce the risk of wildfire. Prescribed, or planned, 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.
Approximately 1-10 acres (10-100 piles) of slash from felled dead trees and brush will be burned daily. Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff have reviewed the Smoke Management Plan and provided conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burns will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers. Ignitions will be conducted throughout the day and piles will be allowed to burn through the evenings to allow for full consumption. All piles will remain in patrol status until no smoke or heat is present.
These prescribed burns are planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. The burns are dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burns 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 burns. 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: https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/pfirs/firm/firm.php