Because of the increase in local live fuel moisture levels and the predicted weather forecast, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department is opening a limited permit burn window. This limited permit burn window begins this Thursday, April 17, and expires on April 30.
This two-week window will help facilitate the burning of accumulated cut fuels throughout Santa Barbara County thereby reducing the fuel load during peak high fire season. This will allow an individual with an existing Hazard Reduction, Residential, and Agricultural burn permit the opportunity to burn on allowable burn days. Burn days are declared by the Air Pollution Control District until May 1.
All permit requirements will be strictly enforced including notification of the area fire station prior to lighting the burn pile and the complete extinguishment of the fire by 5 p.m. No new burn permits will be issued during this limited burn period.
This limited permit burn window applies to permit burning within State Responsibility Areas (SRA) and Local Responsibility Areas (LRA) within the jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. 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 permit, all burn sites and piles will be inspected by Santa Barbara County Fire Department for compliance with the appropriate permit conditions. The permittee must contact the fire department prior to starting any permit burn.
Generally, burn days are determined by the time of year and the weather. Burning during months when live 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 Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Air Pollution Control District work closely together to determine appropriate days for permit burning.
Each day, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department 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.
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, click here.
— Capt. David Sadecki is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.