BarM Prescribed Burn to Occur Friday and Saturday

Source: Air Pollution Control District

WHAT: State-approved Vegetation Management Program burn of approximately 150 acres of sage scrub and Oak Woodland with grass understory.

WHEN: November 12-13, depending on conditions. This burn will occur over 2 days. Burning operations may or may not occur on consecutive days, depending on conditions. If burning does not occur on consecutive days, an additional day-before media advisory will be distributed. Burning operations will occur on permissive burn days.

WHERE: BarM Ranch (also known as Barham Ranch), 4 miles southeast of Los Alamos.

WHY: This burn will reduce old growth fuel loads, with a range improvement component. 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. The burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.

WHO: This prescribed burn is planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department with 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.

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS: 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. Use caution when driving near prescribed burns.

A portable air monitor will be set up nearby to monitor air quality conditions.

This burn depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn will be rescheduled.

To view a statewide prescribed burn map and other features, visit the Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS) website:


Written by APCD

The Air Pollution Control District. Air quality alerts, news, and information for Santa Barbara County, CA. Learn more at

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  1. This sound likes great project, but 150 acres is like a drop in the bucket. Santa Barbara county has about 1.7 million acres of land. We should be burning tens of thousands of acres or more every year to replicate the more natural fire pattern that existed prior to human intervention.

  2. Oh, great. Another couple of days of sealing myself indoors with my two inhalers. These happen quite regularly in the SYV, unfortunately for those of us with breathing issues. Also, tomorrow will be pushing 90 degrees in the area. Perfect time to start a fire, geniuses.

  3. “Thank” the Forest Service and the asinine Smokey The Bear mantra of “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” for the century-long storage of fuel just waiting to ignite and almost impossible to extinguish.
    We need to have many many more controlled burns, especially shortly in advance of predicted rain.
    Also fire breaks can be established proactively before the controlled burn ignition!
    The problem is if the Forest Service starts the burn and it gets away and destroys structures, they are responsible (think $$$). If the ignition source is otherwise, they are not responsible.
    We need laws describing how controlled burns are done, and what immunity the Forest Service has if they strictly follow these laws.
    Structures can be (and have been) wrapped in reflective sheeting to greatly reduce the possibility that they will burn. My home fire insurance has this stipulation, i.e,. they will wrap it if there is immanent fire danger.

  4. Agree 100% photodude. Major reforms are required to address the liability associated with controlled burns. Controlled burns are way safer than wildfires. It’s truly a shame that we are suffering from extremely severe wildfires in part because we are afraid of the liability associated with conducting the burns that are necessary to alleviate the danger.

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