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SBFD offering wood chipping to help prevent wildfires

Wood Chipping Map

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Homeowners and property managers on Santa Barbara's foothills are encouraged to get wildfire ready.

On Monday, Santa Barbara City Fire Department started chipping cut wood debris for residents.

The program will run till mid-June for residents within the wildland fires suppression assessment district which is located in the foothills and the areas most in danger of wildfires. Crews will be trimming big branches and dried out tree limbs.

Chris Braden is a Santa Barbara City Fire service specialist. He said, “We want to prevent those embers from moving the grass into the shrubs and into the tree canopies. So by eliminating latter fuels, essentially the fuels that transmit the fire vertically, we do a good job or reducing the overall risk of wildfire in the community.”

Crews have started collecting and chipping wood in the foothills. Firefighters said now is the time to prepare before it gets drier.

“Even though fuel moisture levels are fairly high right now, we do expect them to drop dramatically over the coming months," said Braden. "This is the perfect time in the spring to be cutting that vegetation that’s just now growing in from this season’s rainfall.”

Over the next couple of months crews will be out in high-risk areas in hopes of preventing major wildfires later this year.

“I could never say with 100% certainty that you know the defensible space work will save a structure, but it gives it its best chance at surviving a wildfire,” said Braden.

See where they're offering the service on their website.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.


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