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It's time! Santa Barbara County set to move into high wildfire season

The 2018 Holiday wildfire burning near Goleta.
Lance Orozco
The 2018 Holiday wildfire burning near Goleta.

Declaration on Friday restricts controlled burns, adds resources to initial wildfire responses from county's fire agencies.

There have been signs that it’s time. Now, what’s known as high fire season in Santa Barbara County is officially beginning this week.

The county has had a number of small brush fire during the last two weeks, including one at the county dump, one in the Santa Maria area, and one over the weekend northwest of Goleta. Fortunately, firefighters were able to stop those blazes quickly. But, it highlights the fact conditions are becoming ripe for wildfires.

Santa Barbara County has had just 65% of normal rain this rainfall season, which means potential wildfire fuels are significantly drier than usual.

When high fire season starts on Friday, it means all residential and hazard reduction burn permits will be suspended. It also means that when a brush fire is reported, more resources will be sent out for the initial attack, in the hopes of stopping it before it spreads.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.