Firefighters are burning approximately 200 acres of brush Thursday at the BarM Ranch located about four miles southeast of Los Alamos.
The goal of the prescribed burn is to get rid of old-growth vegetation that could lead to hazardous fire conditions and to create fire breaks on the ranch property.
It's part of the county's overall fire plan to reduce fuels from Burton Mesa Road to the Highway 101 corridor.
REMINDER- SBC is on scene of a state-approved vegetation management program burn of 200 acres of sage scrub, oak woodland and grass understory happening on the BarM Ranch north of Buellton. Smoke is visible throughout the county. pic.twitter.com/PkeHoQNGrB— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) December 2, 2021
Two years ago, a prescribed burn at the same ranch jumped containment lines and burned about 50 acres before crews were able to stop the flames from spreading further.
Extra hand crews and fire engines are on hand Thursday in case of a wind event that causes the fire to spread uncontrollably.
County and state officials work with local ranchers to set up burns like the one on Thursday and plan them for days when the weather is just right to direct smoke away from populated areas.
"We take a look at what's going on on their ranches and any opportunity that we have in order to get on their property and do some vegetation management, we like to take those opportunities," said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
People in the area who smell smoke are advised to take precautions such as limiting outdoor activities and closing doors and windows.
A prescribed burn is scheduled for today, Thurs, Dec 2 at BarM Ranch, 4 miles southeast of Los Alamos. Our District will monitor conditions closely to minimize smoke impacts and we will reschedule if #airquality conditions are not desirable. pic.twitter.com/WozWqTBL51— Santa Barbara County APCD (@OurAirSBC) December 2, 2021
The burn is expected to be complete by the end of the day.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is planning a two-day prescribed burn of brush piles along Painted Cave Road. Specific dates have not been announced but it is expected to take place by February 2022.