The Santa Barbara County Range Improvement Association, in cooperation with County Fire Department, plans to conduct a one-day prescribed burn before the end of January.
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.
The Bar M burn is a range improvement burn to improve herbaceous forage for livestock. It will occur about six miles southeast of Los Alamos at the Bar M Ranch (also known as Barham Ranch). Some 65 acres of sage scrub and oak woodland with grass understory will be burned.
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff review the Smoke Management Plans and provide conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burns will occur when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.
Once the burn day has been selected for each burn, a day-before media advisory will be issued.
Prescribed burns are 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 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. Use caution while driving near prescribed fire operations.
For more about 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 website.