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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 8:16 pm | Fair 47º


SBFD Conducting Prescribed Pile Burn Monday Morning on Jesusita Lane

North Ontare Fuels Reduction Project targets cut and dry vegetation

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department will be conducting a hazardous vegetation reduction project by prescribed pile burning Monday morning on Jesusita Lane.

In cooperation with local homeowners, the Fire Department, through the Wildland Fire Suppression Assessment District, will conclude its North Ontare Fuels Reduction Project by burning the remaining cut and dry vegetation.

Since the implementation of the Wildland Fire Suppression Assessment District in 2006, more than 70 acres of vegetation management have been treated.

Vegetation management in the targeted area is focused outside a property owner’s required defensible space area. This project requires the Fire Department to work with individual property owners and neighborhoods to accomplish education, assist with fuel hazard reduction projects, protect natural resources unique to the area, and help outline a maintenance program for these areas. By working with multiple property owners there is a greater impact on reducing the community threat from wildfire.

The pile burn plan has to meet specific weather requirements, be cognizant of managing smoke, and consider safe and efficient ways to administer the burn. Relative humidity, temperature, and wind speed and direction are considered among others. Adhering to specific parameters ensures firefighter safety, proper smoke management, and overall success of implementing the burn.

— Pat McElroy is division chief for the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

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