Staff Report

Los Padres National Forest officials today announced plans to begin implementing their annual prescribed burning operations. When favorable weather conditions are present, specific project locations and dates will be shared on the Forest’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The objectives of the projects are to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to people and communities, create conditions which offer a safer and more effective wildfire response, foster more resilient ecosystems, and minimize the effects of large wildfires on the landscape.

When implementing these projects, fire managers follow a burn plan that outlines the “prescription” or environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, fuel moisture, ventilation and relative humidity that need to be present before the project begins. When the criteria are met, crews will implement, monitor, and patrol each burn project to ensure it meets the goals and objectives outlined by managers. The prescribed fire program will continue through the winter and spring months as permitted by weather and other environmental factors.

Prescribed fires including both understory and pile burning are intended to reduce the amount of vegetation, such as needles, small plants, brush, and small trees which can carry fire from the forest floor into the treetops. Studies and experience have shown that prescribed fires stimulate the growth of grasses, forbs and shrubs that provide food for deer, mountain quail and other wildlife.

The ignition of all prescribed burns is dependent on the availability of personnel, equipment, and conducive weather conditions. Prescribed burn planning and execution are closely coordinated with the National Weather Service and Air Quality Management Districts to manage smoke production and minimize impacts as much as possible.

When these burns occur, information signs will be posted along adjacent roadways to alert the public to the burn projects and visible smoke in the area.

For questions on the Los Padres National Forest prescribed fire program, please contact Kyle Kinports at (805) 961-5710. For additional information, please visit the Forest website at