Prescribed Burn at Vandenberg Air Force Base

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Source: Air Pollution Control District

WHAT: Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) Fire Department will be conducting a prescribed burn of approximately 30 acres of grassland and coastal sage scrub.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Additional series of burns will occur through October 31; additional notification will be made each day prior to the next series of burns. Burning operations will begin at approximately 9am and be finished by 6pm on a permissive burn day. 

WHERE: This prescribed burn will occur at Purisima Point Beach.

WHY: The goal of this one-day burn is to increase the habitat for the endangered Western Snowy Plover.  By eliminating ground fuels, the beach dunes can re-contour for more suitable nesting conditions.  Also to reduce the risk of wildfire. Prescribed, or planned, 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. The burn will be conducted when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.

WHO: This burn project is planned by the VAFB Fire Department in conjunction with Santa Barbara County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. Santa Barbara County APCD staff have reviewed the Smoke Management Plan and provided conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County.

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS: 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. Use caution when driving near prescribed burns. 

A portable air monitor will be set up at Vandenberg Middle School to monitor air quality conditions. Data will be available on the Air Pollution Control District’s website:

This burn depends on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable for smoke dispersal. If the conditions are not as desired, the burning will be rescheduled.

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Concerned4Calif Sep 19, 2019 08:11 AM
Prescribed Burn at Vandenberg Air Force Base

More air pollution and carbon dumped into our atmosphere. It matters little if it blows out to sea, its still in the atmosphere. Also it seems exactly the wrong time of year for starting big fires. It ties up critical resources in peak fire season. Why not January or February when the risks are lower? In the past, uncontrolled fires have started as controlled burns.

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