Santa Barbara County Fire Department employs a three-pronged strategy in its fuel reduction program. The Vegetation Management section looks to foster projects that reduce old age class fuel loads, utilizing broadcast burning in strategic locations that serve to stop or slow the spread of catastrophic wildfire, maintain and enhance defensible space around communities through fuel reduction projects that create protection for communities at risk, and conduct larger scale mechanical treatments of identified hazardous fuel beds to help stop the spread of wildfire.
Mechanical treatments generally consist of reducing the continuity and percentage of receptive fuel beds in a mosaic pattern. Cut biomass is usually chipped on site or assembled into piles for burning at a later date.
The Vegetation Management Section (VMP) is responsible for producing Santa Barbara County’s Unit Fire Plan, as well as planning and oversight of range improvement burns and VMP projects. The Unit Fire Plan ensures compliance with state mandates regarding the county’s hazardous fuel beds, while range improvement burns not only assist ranchers with improved grazing lands, but assist fire managers with reduced fuel loads. Encompassed in this responsibility is the administration of the Defensible Space Program as outlined in California’s Public Resource Code 4291.
- Lompoc Valley Fuel Reduction Project
- Figueroa Mountain Road Fuel Reduction Project
- San Antonio Creek Fuel Reduction Project
- Spaulding/Midland Fuel Reduction Project