The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has tentatively approved a prescribed Range Improvement Burn to occur at Righetti Ranch south of Orcutt between Highways 101 and 135. The burn window will start on October 24 and last through the middle of November. The goalof this scheduled one-day burn is to improve rangeland and 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 400 acres of Mixed Chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub will be burned. The burn is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. on a permissive burn day. 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 burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.
This permitted prescribed burn is planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Range Improvement Association pending final approval from Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. The burn is dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn 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 burn. 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.