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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 1:30 am | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara County Fire Department Conducting Pile Burning Operations of Biomass

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is conducting ongoing pile burning operations of biomass created as the result of community defensible space treatments.

The first series of pile burns started Tuesday and will continue through Friday. Additional series of burns will occur through June 1; additional notification will be made each week when burning is expected to occur.

Burning operations will begin about 9 a.m. and be finished by 4 p.m. on permissive burn days.

Three separate burn plots are located west of Rucker Road and east of East Mesa Oaks subdivision, north of Galaxy Way and Titian Avenue between Oakhill Drive and Northoaks Drive.

This pile burning operation is the most efficient way to eliminate biomass created as the result identified defensible space treatments. The treatment and elimination of cuttings will help to safeguard the surrounding community in the event of wildfire.

This burn project is planned by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department in conjunction with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District 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.

Residents who smell smoke should take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities. When the smell of smoke is detected or when it is visible in the 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.

Those who are sensitive to smoke should 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 temporary air monitor has been placed near the burn site. Air quality conditions will be available on the APCD’s website.

— Dave Zaniboni is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.


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