High Fire Seasoning Transitioning to Winter Preparedness
Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
On Monday December 17th, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD) will transition from a High Fire Season to a Winter Preparedness Level.
With this transition, the ban on permit burning within State Responsibility Areas (SRA) and Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) within the jurisdiction of the SBCFD has been lifted. Individuals with a valid burn permit may resume permitted burning in Santa Barbara County. Please note: These permits are issued for burn piles only and are not intended for the burning of standing vegetation.
Prior to issuance of a new permit, burn sites and piles will be inspected by the SBCFD for compliance with the appropriate permit conditions. The permittee must contact the fire department prior to starting any permit burn. As a reminder, all permit holders are
responsible to be compliant with all permit rules and guidelines. Property owners and permit holders could be held liable for any escaped burn on their property that requires fire department assistance. Non-compliance could result in a citation and/or full cost
Burn days are determined by the time of year and the weather. Burning during the winter months when the fuel moisture levels are high and temperatures are low is preferred. Also, the ability of the smoke to mix with the atmosphere is critical. A high pressure, stable condition is not recommended for burning due to the inability of the smoke to easily dissipate. Predicted high winds can also suspend burning. Burning is never allowed on Sundays or holidays. The SBCFD and Air Pollution Control District work closely together to determine appropriate days for permit burning.
Each day, the SBCFD announces on a recorded phone line whether permit burning is allowed. The public can ascertain whether it is a permissive burn day by calling (805) 686-8177.
Although the fire danger has decreased considerably, it is still possible to have wildfires during the winter months in Southern California. Santa Barbara County residents are encouraged to continue to reduce flammable vegetation around their structures, property and roads. Through the Ready! Set! Go! Program, land owners have the opportunity to be educated about issues concerning defensible space and vegetation removal. For information on the Ready! Set! Go! Program, please log on to www.sbcfire.com.