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    Santa Barbara City Fire Department Expands Wildfire Mitigation Efforts with New Vegetation Management Crew

    As wildfires become an increasingly prevalent threat, we recognize the importance of proactive measures to protect our communities, natural resources, and property. The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is thrilled to announce the expansion of our dedicated team with the addition of a Vegetation Management Crew. Forged through collaboration, this strategic hire underscores our commitment to enhancing safety, preserving the environment, and mitigating wildfire risks. 

    The Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) was completed in 2021, and a vegetation management project is underway to fulfill the objectives stated in that plan, through a collaboration with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department. The first project has begun in Honda Valley off Highlands Drive.

    “We are excited to initiate this groundbreaking project and the opportunity to collaborate with City Parks and Recreation to lessen the fire risk in our parks and open spaces. This is the first time that a collaboration of this nature has taken place,” said Wildland Specialist, Mark vonTillow.

    This is the start of long-term vegetation management in our open space parks to make the City a more fire-wise and resilient community. This collaboration balances the expertise of both City departments to manage vegetation while protecting natural ecosystems within the City’s open space parks. 

    This joint Fire Resiliency project will:

    • Maintain defensible space in city park land around adjacent homes.
    • Maintain and improve fire access roads.
    • Vegetation management targeted at deadwood, excessive thatch, high-fire risk invasive species removal, and associated native plant restoration efforts.
    • Fuel load reduction in at-risk areas, and
    • Community outreach and education around fuels management.

    The Vegetation Management Crew members bring expertise in fire management, hazard reduction, and fuel reduction techniques. The crew is trained to the highest safety standards, ensuring that all operations are conducted with the utmost care and precision.

    This project was generously funded through the California State Coastal Conservancy grant program.

    Santa Barbara City Fire Department
    Santa Barbara City Fire Departmenthttps://santabarbaraca.gov/government/departments/fire-department
    The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of our community through the preservation of life, property and the environment.
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