Grazing for Fire Mitigation in Eucalyptus Hill

Source: Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association (EHIA)

The Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association members have been very concerned about the canyons within the Eucalyptus Hill Neighborhood as they relate to fire danger.  We have worked with the Santa Barbara Fire Department (SBFD) to have these canyons designated as areas of concern with the CWPP (Community Wildfire Protection Plan).  The SBFD tries to mitigate fire danger areas in the City, as funds and manpower allow. As much as we would like to get a grant or funding for this from the SBFD, or other public sources, we have not been able to do so.   The SBFD has worked in our canyons in past years, and may again in the future, but we don’t know when this will occur, as it is done on a need/rotating schedule and as funding permits.  The EHIA Board did not believe we could afford to wait until the SBFD could do fire prevention work, so we have taken on this project ourselves.

EHIA has received bids from goat and sheep companies.  We have found that grazing is the least expensive, and the most effective way at eliminating ladder fuels. Last year we hired Cuyama Lambs to do work in our smallest canyon and this week we began work with Ventura Brush Goats ( in a second canyon.  Homeowners owning and bordering these canyons are allowing this fire prevention effort and homeowners along this canyon and throughout the Eucalyptus Hill neighborhood have generously donated to this project.  The canyon where we are working now is behind Alston Road, Rametto Lane, Cima Linda Lane, and Owen Road winding towards the Montecito Country Club is where we are currently grazing.  We are also investigating possibly becoming a FireWise Community in the future.


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  1. Actually, a park like appearance is natural. Before humans intervened, fires occurred frequently. The regular, low intensity fires cleared brush and lifted branches on larger trees. This Natural regimen of fire maintained a park like appearance. After fire suppression was implemented at the dawn of the 20th century, the landscape changed. Vegetation became much more dense, ladder fuels developed, and dead vegetation accumulated. Grazing actually helps restore a more natural appearance. This is a great way to help maintain a landscape.

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