Hazard reduction efforts may result in smoke
SANTA BARBARA – Santa Barbara County firefighters were working Monday in the area of the Painted Cave Fuel Break, working to complete the burning of hazard reduction burn piles.
The public may notice smoke in the area of Painted Cave/HWY 154/Paradise Road over the next five approved burn days.
– Neil Hartstein
New bicycle safety features in place on SR 135
SANTA MARIA – A recently completed project which resurfaced six miles of State Route 135 (Broadway) from the US 101/State Route 135 Interchange to Lakeview Road includes new bicycle safety features between Santa Maria Way and Preisker Lane.
As part of the project, bike lanes were installed along various segments of the roadway.
Shared lane markings (sharrows) were also implemented on some portions of the highway which allows bicycles to use the full lane with a chevron marking pointing in the rider’s direction of travel.
For more information on how (Sharrows) work go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKED2gy23F8.
The contractor for this $12 million project was CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria.
For traffic updates on other state highway projects in Santa Barbara County, the public can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3138 or visit the District 5 website at: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5
– Neil Hartstein
Prescribed burn planned by end of January
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY – The Santa Barbara County Range Improvement Association, in cooperation with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, plans to conduct a prescribed burn before the end of January.
Prescribed fires typically burn less intensely than wildfires. Prescribed burns can help prevent the spread of wildfires and can reduce impacts to watersheds that can result in soil loss and sedimentation.
The Bar M burn is a range improvement burn to improve herbaceous forage for livestock. It will occur approximately 6 miles southeast of Los Alamos at the Bar M Ranch (also known as Barham Ranch). Approximately 65 acres of sage scrub and Oak Woodland with grass understory will be burned. This will be a one-day burn.
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) staff review the Smoke Management Plans and provide conditions to minimize smoke impacts in Santa Barbara County. The burns will occur when the meteorological conditions are highly favorable to direct smoke away from population centers.
Prescribed burns are planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County APCD, San Luis Obispo County APCD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, Ventura County APCD, and the California Air Resources Board in order to minimize impacts on air quality on surrounding communities. The burn is dependent on weather and air quality conditions that are favorable to smoke dispersion. If the conditions are not as desired, the burn will be rescheduled.
Due to changing winds and weather conditions, it is difficult to predict which areas of the county, if any, may be most affected by smoke from the burn.
If you smell smoke, take precautions and use common sense to reduce any harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities. When you can smell smoke or when it is visible in your area, avoid strenuous outdoor activity and remain indoors as much as possible.
These precautions are especially important to children, older adults, and those with heart and lung conditions. If you are sensitive to smoke, consider temporarily relocating and closing all doors and windows on the day of the burn. Symptoms of smoke exposure can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. Please use caution while driving near prescribed fire operations.
For more information regarding the county’s air quality, visit www.OurAir.org.
To view a statewide prescribed burn map and other features, visit the Prescribed Fire Information Reporting System (PFIRS) website at https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/pfirs/firm/firm.php
– Neil Hartstein