Fire prevention project planned next week
MONTECITO — The Montecito Fire Protection District will begin its annual neighborhood fire prevention project on Feb. 22.
Each spring, the department partners with district residents to prepare for the approaching high fire season and aims to reduce the density of vegetation along strategic portions of roadways and private properties. The intent is to assist residents in increasing the defensible space around things most at risk from wildfire, according to authorities.
“We also encourage fuels reduction to occur along driveways and roadways to provide safer evacuation routes for the community and give first responders efficient access to the area,” read a department news release. “Creating a buffer between vegetation, access routes, and homes ensures fire intensity will decrease before reaching these areas.”
Property owners are expected to receive information in the mail about specific dates for each neighborhood.
The Montecito fire department contracts out the chipping of the cut vegetation. The department’s contractor spends the 11-week program assisting the department with the chipping, tagging and trimming portinos. Branches that hang lower than 13.5 feet above roadways are tagged and are eventually removed.
“Clearing these areas not only improves fire engine access, but also reduces the amount of heat evacuating residents might be exposed to during a fire, improves visibility, and expands the usable width of Montecito’s narrow streets,” officials said.
The program is offered to more than 1,400 residents who reside within the very high fire severity zone. This year, the program has expanded to include an additional 200 residents.
To schedule a complimentary property survey, call 805-969-7762 or email email@example.com.
Search and Rescue locates lost hiker
SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue found an at-risk male Saturday night in the Mission Canyon area after he got lost hiking with his girlfriend. The man, around 27 years of age, became separated around 3:30 p.m. and was found just before 10:30 p.m.
His girlfriend searched the surrounding area initially and went home after dark, thinking he might do the same. She went back out to look for him and became lost.
Search and Rescue found the girlfriend in the creek bed and delivered her to safety.
The team used drones to search the canyon.
Search and Rescue found footprints and followed them to locate the subject, unharmed and in the creek. The man returned home with his mother and his girlfriend.
— Annelise Hanshaw