SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Fire Department, in conjunction with other local fire jurisdictions declared today as the start of the 2021 high fire season.
During high fire season, all burn permits issued for residential burning and hazard reduction will be suspended, County Fire spokesman Capt. Daniel Bertucelli said.
At the same time, County Fire will increase the number of resources — engines, bulldozers, crews, helicopters and other firefighting equipment — that respond to reported vegetation fires.
Bertucelli noted the 2020-21 rainy season delivered only 47% of the county's normal rainfall, which has resulted in significantly drier wildland fuels that, combined with dry seasonal grasses at this time of year, poses a significant risk for the ignition and growth of a vegetation fire.
He said the state has made $165 million available in grants in 2021 to develop and carry out fire prevention projects throughout the state, and County Fire is applying for the funding to build upon the prevention programs already underway within the county.
Bertucelli said County Fire is reminding everyone who lives or works in or visits the county to be extra vigilant about fire safety and be extra cautious and aware when traveling or staying in wildland areas.
Residents are advised to clear vegetation around structures and review and be familiar with their "Ready! Set! Go!" wildfire action plans.
More information about "Ready! Set! Go!" is available at www.sbcfire.com.