City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

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City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant
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Tea Fire Sundowner from Rincon Mountain, November 2008. (Photo: Shauna Moses)

Source: Santa Barbara City Fire Department

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department has been awarded a $310,000 Cal Fire grant to update the existing Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and programmatic Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Recent California fires that have devastated urban communities have heightened our community’s perception of our vulnerability to wildfire. The city recognizes the need to update the existing CWPP and EIR which will replace the 2004 Wildland Fire Plan aimed at mitigating wildland fire impacts based on a history of catastrophic fires within the City.

The $310,000 cash grant, which includes matching in-kind work by city staff, is part of the combined California Climate Investments and Cal Fire Community Wildfire Prevention Program which is releasing $43,000,000 in local Fire Prevention Grants throughout the state. California Climate Investments uses cap and trade dollars to help offset greenhouse gas emissions. Large fires generate enormous amounts of those emissions, particularly black carbon, according to the California Air Resources Board, and reducing the number and intensity of fires helps the initiative achieve its goal. The CWPP will identify projects that will result in the removal of vegetation that would otherwise be consumed by wildfire. This is the first such grant to the city, tying wildfire prevention and mitigation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

For the past 14 years the City has successfully implemented the majority of the policies and programmatic actions set forth in the Wildland Fire Plan. These include designation of risk areas, establishment of defensible space standards, updating fire and building codes with more stringent provisions, establishing funding sources and enforcement programs for risk reduction, identifying and implementing evacuation procedures and public education programs, reducing response times, providing training, obtaining additional equipment, implementing vegetation management programs, and providing guidelines for post-fire recovery.

Updating the CWPP and EIR will allow the City to use the best available science to proactively respond to the rapid increase seen locally (2017 Thomas Fire and 2018 Post Fire Debris Flow) and statewide in fire behavior, loss of life, large numbers of structure losses, post fire flooding, and economic impacts from wildfire. By updating the CWPP, the city will use the lessons learned from the Wildland Fire Plan to address the increased wildfire threat.

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a-1568843707 Apr 19, 2019 03:44 PM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

I'm not going to butcher my plants in case of fire. Fire, if it comes my way, will do what it wants. Fire is a mercurial creature, not tameable or controllable. One spark up under an eave is all it takes. Burning and causing air pollution as a way of controlling future wildfires is expensive, senseless, useless and contributes to acid rain and global warming.

a-1568843707 Apr 18, 2019 01:52 PM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

Destroyed many homes, a modest place Lake Isabella. People killed. The Erskine Fire was in the Lake Isabella area of Kern County. It was the second-largest wildfire of the 2016 California wildfire season. A very very low income area. Lots of mobile homes, low grass/plants content, not glorious large canopied trees, but burned nevertheless. Wildfires look for something to eat. Homes will do.

Yeti Apr 18, 2019 01:25 PM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

Silly, now even fire management is subject to politics and eco-lefty stuff. The reality is, that the only real way to reduce fire dangers is to occasionally burn the hills. Controlled burns are very risky, BUT on good days when it is cool, green and no wind it is a lot LESS RISKY than NO controlled burns and another one of these calamitous fires that are impossible to control like: Painted Cave, Gap, Tea, Thomas..etc. There is NO Way that they will be able to occasionally mow down the hillsides to remove the fuel load to a level that will make a dent in the risks. And, just take a drive through upper Montecito and you can see other kinds of politics at work with the still overgrown trees and brush throughout the neighborhoods.. Another good place to start would be to force the reduction of fuel loads INSIDE of Montecito. Since we can't get these spoiled brats to allow the freeway expansion to happen, we sure won't get them to permit the extreme trimming of their neighborhood trees to save their homes.

Chip of SB Apr 18, 2019 11:44 AM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

This is a truly unique perspective on wildfires. I always considered these fires to be a public safety issue and never would have thought to try to prevent wildfires in order to reduce CO2 emissions. That strikes me as an odd set of priorities. In fact, the whole concept does not make sense. Forests are carbon neutral. All CO2 the plants absorb as they grow is released again after they die. The carbon is neither created nor destroyed, it simply changes forms. Whether a tree burns or dies and rots away, all the carbon that it turned into wood as it grew will be released again as CO2 as it rots. Preventing wildfires will have no effect on the amount of CO2 released over time.

a-1568843707 Apr 18, 2019 12:29 PM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

There is something to be said about spreading the CO2 release over time (via wood rotting) vs releasing it all at once, considering our fire season coincides with the large end of the ozone hole annual fluctuation. That said, I agree it is a strange priority, considering the extreme and immediate loss of life and property wildfire has been causing as of late in CA.

a-1568843707 Apr 18, 2019 11:15 AM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

"Do you run a nonprofit focused on disaster preparedness in California? Grant opportunity for 501(c)3's who "leverage the power of peer-to-peer networks to organize their vulnerable and underserved communities to establish and implement tailored preparedness strategies." https://tinyurl.com/y37lky9k

a-1568843707 Apr 18, 2019 11:05 AM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

No matter where you live, hills or dense neighborhoods. You can do your part! Take all flammable items that are against your house AWAY. Any plants near the house, keep watered and trimmed away from house wall or roof. Be prepared to stay and defend your home. Store water, in case water pressure is down. Have gloves, goggles, n95 face mask, cotton shirt and pants, heavy socks and shoes. Make a plan with your family and neighbors for helping each other.

a-1568843707 Apr 18, 2019 11:01 AM
City of Santa Barbara Awarded $310,000 Fire Prevention Grant

Animal Disaster Management FREE MONEY: https://californiavolunteers.ca.gov/californiaforall/ …Cal OES grants now available to help our community be better prepared! Target County Partners Grant details here: https://tinyurl.com/yydw2lok Statewide County Partners Grant details here: https://tinyurl.com/y37lky9k

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