Vegetation management puts brush into a chipper

City Awarded Nearly $3 Million for Wildfire Prevention Within Open Space Parks

Authored on
October 17, 2023

The City of Santa Barbara has been awarded an approximately $2.9 million CAL FIRE grant to bolster its commitment to wildfire resilience and community safety. This grant will support an ongoing collaboration between the City's Fire Department and Parks and Recreation Department to conduct critical fire safety projects across the City's open spaces.

“Investing in communities before a wildfire strikes is a critical component of California’s wildfire strategy,” said CAL FIRE Director and Fire Chief Joe Tyler. “We are proud to help further this important and proactive work.” 

The grant funding will address five priorities of the City’s Wildfire Resiliency Project:

  1. Defensible Space: Creating and maintaining defensible space around homes located near open spaces to act as a protective barrier against wildfires.
  2. Fire Access Roads and Fuel Breaks: Ensuring efficient access to high fire hazard areas for rapid response.
  3. Vegetation Management: Targeting high-fire-risk invasive species to allow native, fire-resilient species to thrive.
  4. Fuel Load Reduction: Reducing fuel loads in high-risk areas to minimize the intensity and spread of wildfires.
  5. Community Outreach and Education: Raising awareness about the importance of fire safety and fostering a fire-resilient community.

This funding will be used in open spaces across the City including Arroyo Burro Open Space, Barger Canyon Preserve, Cold Spring Trail and Gould Park, Douglas Family Preserve, Equestrian Circle, Franceschi Park, Hale Park, Hidden Valley Park, Honda Valley Park, Jesusita Trail Corridor, La Mesa Park, Laurel Canyon Park, Parma Park, Rattlesnake Canyon Trail Corridor, Sheffield Reservoir, Skofield Park, and Stevens Park.

The partnership between the City Fire and Parks and Recreation Departments balances the expertise of both teams to reduce wildfire risk while supporting the area’s native ecosystems. Prior to work, a biological resource assessment will be performed in each open space to identify sensitive resources, including special status plant species, special status wildlife species, and sensitive natural communities that may be present. Work plans will be developed to ensure the protection of all sensitive resources within the park.   

More information about the City’s Wildfire Resiliency Project can be found at