Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress title=
Photo: Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD)
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Update by Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department
October 11, 2022

Santa Barbara County Firefighters are uses drip torches, which drops flaming liquid and facilitates rapid ignition, and terra torches, which throws a stream of flaming liquid, during the 1,600 acre prescribed fire operation in Santa Ynez Valley.

The controlled event will achieve strategic fuel reduction in an effort to reduce the risk of future wildfire.

Photo: Mike Eliason / SBCFD

Update by the Air Pollution Control District
October 10, 2022

A multi-day prescribed burn near Los Olivos will start today and is expected to occur on consecutive days this week as long as conditions allow. Burning may last into the evening hours. A portable air quality monitor is set up nearby. 

By the Air Pollution Control District & Santa Barbara County Fire Department
October 8, 2022

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department plans to conduct a prescribed burn for strategic wildland fuel reduction purposes between Midland School and 4335 Tim’s Rd., near Los Olivos, as early as mid-October (10/10 - 10/15). Prescribed fires typically burn less intensely than wildfires. Prescribed burns can help prevent the spread of wildfires and can reduce impacts to watersheds that can result in soil loss and sedimentation.

This burn is Vegetation Management broadcast burn to achieve strategic wildland fuel reduction in effort to reduce the risk of wildfire for the residential communities of Woodstock Ranch, Oak Trail Estates, and Midland School. Approximately 1,600 acres of sage scrub and Oak woodland will be burned. The burn will occur over 4-5 days. Burning is expected to occur on consecutive days. Once the first burn day has been selected, a media advisory will be issued.

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff review the Smoke Management Plan and provide conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burn will occur when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.

This prescribed burn is planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. The burn is dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn will be rescheduled.

Due to changing winds and weather conditions, it is difficult to predict which areas of the county, if any, may be most affected by smoke from the burn. If you smell smoke, take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities. When you can smell smoke or when it is visible in your area, avoid strenuous outdoor activity and remain indoors as much as possible. These precautions are especially important to children, older adults, and those with heart and lung conditions. If you are sensitive to smoke, consider temporarily relocating and closing all doors and windows on the day of the burn. Symptoms of smoke exposure can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea, and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. Please use caution while driving near prescribed fire operations.

For more information regarding the county’s air quality, visit www.OurAir.org.

To view a statewide prescribed burn map and other features, visit the Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS) website: https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/pfirs/firm/firm.php


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montecito_matt Oct 10, 2022 10:23 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Aren't we still in a high fire season? Or let's see, when have the most most devastating local wildfires impacted our community? In terms that will be understood here, think about the wildlife and habitat lost to all the animals out there, not already impacted from other fires in the area. There's also a reason they become wildfires, they get out of control or jump the lines which wouldn't be a first for the county fire department. This as the city puts out information on fire prevention and "fire's won't wait, plan your escape" here during fire prevention week. Who was the wise one to plan starting a fire during national fire prevention week??

Chip of SB Oct 10, 2022 03:14 PM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

The reason that we have to deal with high fire risks in the first place is because misguided forest management policies for the last 100 years or so have suppressed fire in forests that had adapted to frequent fires over millennia. Fire suppression results in overcrowding of vegetation and a build up of dead plant material, aka fuel. In addition to dramatically altering the habitat that animals had adapted to, fire suppression creates a tremendous fire danger for the human population. Of course controlled burns become uncontrolled sometimes, but they’re still a hell of a lot safer than unplanned burns. People seem to focus the blame for fires on the source of ignition. If it’s lightning it’s an act of god and if it’s caused by careless human activities then there is a push to figure out who was responsible for the spark and to hold them accountable for the destruction. The truth is, the unhealthy overcrowded condition of the forests and unnatural accumulation of dead vegetation is the root cause of wildfire danger. We are all responsible for perpetuating the mismanagement of our forests which sustains the extreme level of fire danger we live with today. The only way to mitigate the danger in the long run is to restore the natural element of fire to the forests, and the only practical way to do that is to conduct controlled burns.

Alexblue Oct 10, 2022 06:12 PM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Chip, I'm confused, exactly how are human initiated, planned fires, "natural."

Was there a time when forests existed without people planning to set fire to parts of them so that other parts wouldn't burn?

sacjon Oct 11, 2022 08:45 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

ALEX - sounds like you need a VOICE for your CHIP. A little sidekick/buddy who swoops from the rafters to high five you on everything you say and jumps to attack any who dare question you. My cape and gloves are at the dry cleaner otherwise I'd be happy to help.

ChillinGrillin Oct 11, 2022 09:17 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

We need to all do our part and follow the guidance of the Dear Leader by buying rakes at Home Depot and raking the forest. Finland does it, a lot of people are saying it's phenomenal, maybe even fantastic what they're doing. The deep state doesn't want us to do yard work. Sad!

sacjon Oct 11, 2022 09:53 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

CHIP - I know we've been through this, but I feel you still haven't clarified - what specific "fire suppression" methods have been employed since the 1920? Are you saying we shouldn't be fighting fires? Or, are you saying we're allowing clutter to build up on the forest floor?

Chip of SB Oct 11, 2022 10:49 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Sac, this paper outlines the history of fire suppression pretty thoroughly. I’m not saying we should never fight fires. However, fire occurred frequently before human intervention and it is unnatural for these forests to go for many decades without fire. This causes unnatural fuel buildup and an unnaturally extreme fire hazard. The solution is to reintroduce fire in a strategic and controlled way to recreate the natural cycle of fire that existed prior to human intervention.


sacjon Oct 11, 2022 10:55 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

"it is unnatural for these forests to go for many decades without fire." - OK, so how did we stop nature from having fires?

According to your article, "When Europeans arrived in North America, they caused dramatic changes to fire regimes." So, are you now blaming everyone since the Pilgrims for the current state of things? I really appreciate your calm and respectful responses, but isn't the liberal bashing for fires a bit misguided? Seems the forests have been mismanaged for centuries, no?

Alexblue Oct 11, 2022 11:27 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Chip, I think I might be one of very few people on Edhat who is not an expert. That being said, I think you make valid points and I appreciate you aren't immediately trying to go red team blue team on the issue like SBTejano.

If you don't already know about the "Good Fire" philosophy and programs in SBC, you may be interested in this article.


Chip of SB Oct 11, 2022 12:58 PM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Thanks Alex, I appreciate that and I will check out the link you posted. I think forest management is one area where everyone can find common ground and work together to improve the health of our forests and reduce wildfire risk. I really believe that just about everyone wants to achieve this regardless of their political persuasions, and together I think we can make it happen.

SBTejano Oct 11, 2022 06:05 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

Glad to see the County and State acting proactively when it comes to fire suppression and reducing fuel load. If controlled burns are good enough for the Biodiversity Department at UCSB (recent lagoon controlled burn) it’s good enough for the Los Padres National Forest.
Can one imagine the metric tons of carbon and other particulate matter released into the environment from uncontrolled massive fires that have plagued our State? Enough from the “Chicken Little “ environmentalist, whom lobbying efforts and frivolous lawsuits have put lives and property in danger! Don’t believe it, just ask the folks in Paradise, CA., how they feel about fire suppression efforts.

sacjon Oct 11, 2022 10:28 AM
Los Olivos Prescribed Burn In Progress

"acting proactively when it comes to fire suppression and reducing fuel load" - wait a second.... I thought "fire suppression" was what caused all these massive fires? Is fire suppression good now?

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