Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

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Source: Office of Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)’s legislation to help protect California communities from catastrophic wildfires passed off the Senate floor [Friday] on a 29-0 vote and now heads to the Governor.

SB 1260 improves California forest management practices to reduce the risk of wildfires in light of our changing climate. Jackson chairs the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management and represents the region devastated by the Thomas Fire.

Senate Bill 1260 clears the path for greater and more frequent wildfire fuel reduction and prescribed burns, sets air quality standards for prescribed burns, and allows California’s fire agency to provide input during the planning of new home construction in fire hazard areas.

“The 2017 and 2018 wildfires have been absolutely devastating and the problem is only getting worse.  As a result of climate change, California faces year-round increasingly catastrophic wildfire seasons. We must recognize this new reality and take concrete action to ensure our communities are better prepared. That includes modifying our forest management practices in light of the impacts of climate change on our natural resources,” said Jackson. 

While wildfires are a fact of life in California, higher temperatures and drier conditions linked to climate change have contributed to more frequent and severe fires throughout the state.

In addition, as a result of climate change and extended drought conditions, over 129 million trees have died in California forests since 2010. These dead trees increase the risk of catastrophic wildfires by serving as fuel and allowing fires to spread rapidly.

Many states and the federal government have begun taking measures to increase the use of controlled burning, also known as prescribed burning, as a way to reduce the vegetation buildup that can act as a fuel for wildfires. Prescribed burns help reduce the risk and severity of wildfires and lessen the loss of life and property.

Senate Bill 1260 clears the path for controlled burns by collaborating with federal, state and private landowners to implement responsible prescribed burning on federally and privately owned property in the state.

The bill also allows the state’s fire agency to provide input during subdivision planning in fire hazard regions, and calls on the California Air Resources Board to develop an air quality and smoke monitoring program for prescribed burns.

SB 1260 carries out a number of directives included in an Executive Order Governor Brown released earlier this year to help reduce California’s risk of wildfires.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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pxn Sep 04, 2018 01:14 PM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

Controlled burns make sense because the burn will happen when the weather is favorable, including wind direction, rather than dangerous. Weather predictions are quite good these days. We should have been having many more controlled burns. It will be better for wildlife too, since relatively small areas will be burnt in each case making escape to an area that is not part of the burn easier.

monkeyboy Sep 04, 2018 11:18 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

You can talk about global warming until you are blue in the face, but the one thing that has changed since I was a kid is the lack of controlled burns. There was always a prescribed burn in the backcountry and we never had these mega fires like today, fed with decades of unburned brush. It's all going to burn eventually, with the damaging smoke and loss of wildlife, but doing it on our terms with good weather is better overall for the environment and for us.

a-1558757818 Sep 04, 2018 12:28 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

Smoke is bad for humans and other animals. We should never knowingly add to air pollution in this manner. Someday we will look back on these controlled burn practices and realize how ignorant it all was.

a-1558757818 Sep 03, 2018 01:35 PM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

During a wind event, a house catching fire in San Roque, or any neighborhood, can spread violently to other homes. Downed power lines in a neighborhood can quickly light up a house or shed. Controlled burns of all houses? How about clear PSAs on tv and radio about not dragging chains behind trailers, not using power tools in afternoons when it's hot, dry, windy. How about NO ag burning; get a mulch machine and do what we do (we can't burn the stuff we cut in our garden, why should they?). No fireworks in California, period. No fires in forest, period. CHP electronic signs that say call 911 if you see a chain dragging, and follow person and get them to stop, video license plate. Real consequences for doing this stuff...and publicize, day and night.

monkeyboy Sep 04, 2018 11:20 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

None of those things would have prevented the two biggest fires in state history this year. There wil always be another cause, lightning, power lines arcing in wind, a dropped pair of glasses. Maybe you should just sit inside your dark home on the off chance you do something to cause a catastrophe?

a-1558757818 Sep 03, 2018 10:08 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

Wasn't there a controlled burn on Santa Cruz island several months ago...that became an uncontrolled burn? Didn't the town of Los Alamos N.M. burn down from a "control" burn. There are others, too. Controlled burns are a great idea until they are out of control, and that happens too often for comfort. Our health. More smoke. Not good for lungs.

PitMix Sep 04, 2018 01:38 PM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

Horsegirl, we can stop building homes next to wildland areas. Or if you build a home there, you pay the insurance and fire protection costs instead of making the rest of us share your increased risk. I live in the middle of a downtown neighborhood. The risk of a Santa Rosa type fire there is not 0, but it is much less than the risk of a Holiday Fire type event in the rural parts of Goleta. You will never be able to prescribe burn enough to decrease the damage done by a spark during a sundowner or Santa Ana.

a-1558757818 Sep 03, 2018 10:00 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

So, now we are going to have at least one post a day from the office of this senator? Not interested! Cannot stand her - why is this site now becoming political too?

monkeyboy Sep 04, 2018 11:21 AM
Bill Proposed to Offer More Prescribed Burns

It's not overtly political...edhat aggregates news that other creators make. Those creators are not fond of being clickjacked, so as the content edhat can post gets less and less, they go for PR pieces from politicians and lawyers as that's all that's still free.

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