County Launches Improvements for Permitted Pile Burns

County Launches Improvements for Permitted Pile Burns title=
County Launches Improvements for Permitted Pile Burns
Reads 1136

Source: County of Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced changes that will go into effect [Monday] affecting permitted pile burns. Pile burns are permitted by the County Fire Department and fall into three categories: Agricultural, Hazard Reduction, and Residential Backyard. Permitted pile burns are different from prescribed burns; prescribed burns involve standing vegetation and are performed by land managers, including fire agencies.

These changes address common concerns from county residents regarding air quality and fire safety, and apply to the areas of the county served by the County Fire Department. The changes affecting permitted pile burns will reduce air quality impacts to neighboring communities and include:

Revising ignition times

o  10am start time for all categories in the Santa Ynez Valley

o  10am start time for all Residential Backyard burns countywide

o  7am start time for Agricultural and Hazard Reduction outside of the Santa Ynez Valley

Implementing No-Burn Township Areas (see map), where no permit burning will be allowed*

o  Areas based on county urban limit lines

o  Clustered residential parcels 3 acres or less

* Recreation fires are still allowed.

* The Santa Ynez Valley Township Area will have an approximately one-year grace period for previous permit holders, with the change effective when the County Fire Department transitions to a Winter Preparedness Level in Winter 2019/2020.

Allowing separate Burn Day determinations for four Santa Barbara County burn zones (see map titled “South Central Coast Burn Zones” below)

Limiting pile sizes for Hazard Reduction and Residential Backyard burns to 6’ diameter, 4’ height

Launching Burn Permit Information Map (see link below) showing active burn permits and Township Areas, with address search capability

All types of burning are only allowed on permissive burn days as determined by the California Air Resources Board, County Fire Department, and Air Pollution Control District. Burn days are determined by the time of year and the weather. Every day, the County Fire Department announces on a recorded phone line (see number below) whether permit burning is allowed. The burn day designation is now also available on the County Fire Department website (see link below). The designation of a burn day applies only to holders of current burn permits and does not grant permission for unpermitted burns.

Santa Barbara County residents who conduct permitted pile burns are encouraged to adhere to best practices including not burning trash and burning safely and with consideration for neighbors. People are also encouraged to consider alternatives to burning, such as chipping. Find more information:


More Information

Burn Day Phone Line: (805) 686-8177

Login to add Comments


Toggle Comments (Show)
pii Dec 19, 2018 09:27 AM
County Launches Improvements for Permitted Pile Burns

Starting at 10 only allows two hours to burn. Not enough time to burn fully. Then you are supposed to dowse the pile at 5PM. That uses a lot of water, which is scarce out here, and clouds of smoke. There are huge numbers of dead trees. That is beaucoup burning to reduce hazardous conditions. But oh well, let us all make nicey nicey. Then the next wildfire will devastate the area. Some people are above the inversion layer. Some people burn dry piles which make way less smoke and that takes time to burn. If you add wood to a smallish fire to keep it under control, that takes time. Chipping and hauling is the daft type of solution from someone who can't see the forest for the trees. It is way too expensive to be rationally considered. If there were many burn days, with advance notice so you can plan ahead, these proscriptions would might then become workable.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.