A prescribed burn involving 86 acres of grassland and black sage scrub in the Santa Ynez Valley also is serving as a training tool for firefighters.
The burn kicked off on Wednesday and is set to continued from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Chamberlin Ranch, 4155 Figueroa Mountain Road.
The goal of the two-day burn is to provide live fire training to certify instructors to teach a CA-219 Firing Operations class, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the Air Pollution Control District.
“This class is used to teach both firefighters and private land managers to use fire as a tool to both fight large-scale wildfires and manage prescribed fire being used as a land management tool,” officials said.
The live fire activity acted as a classroom for training firefighters to serve as burn bosses, firefighters said.
Prescribed, or planned, fires typically burn less intensely than wildfires and can help prevent the spread of fires.
The intentionally set blazes also can reduce impacts to watershed that can lead to soil loss and sedimentation.
Prescribed burns only occur during highly favorable weather conditions to direct smoke away from population centers.
Anyone who smells smoke should take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities, authorities said.
Precautions are especially important to children, older adults, and those with heart and lung conditions.
Symptoms of smoke exposure can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea, and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
This prescribed burn is planned and coordinated by the county Fire Department with the Santa Barbara County APCD, the San Luis Obispo County APCD, the San Joaquin Valley APCD, the Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities.
A portable air monitor has been set up in Los Olivos to monitor air quality conditions, with data on the APCD’s website available here .