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Wildfire Resiliency Project

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Contacts

Monique O'Conner
Open Space Planner
(805) 560-7576
MOConner@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Mark VonTillow
Inspector II/Wildland Specialist
(805) 564-5720
MVonTillow@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Partners

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Wildfires pose a significant threat to Santa Barbara year-round. The Parks and Recreation Department and Fire Department have partnered to improve the community’s fire resilience and reduce the risk and severity of wildfires. The collaboration balances the expertise of both teams to manage vegetation while protecting the natural ecosystems within the city’s open space parks.

This work is a critical component of Santa Barbara’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

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Community Wildfire Protection Plan Cover
Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Learn more about the comprehensive plan to mitigate wildfire impacts throughout the City. 

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Interactive Fire Hazard Mapping Tool

Use this interactive tool to identify if your property is located within the City's High Fire Hazard Area.

Priorities

Our collaborative efforts aim to reduce wildfire risk and improve fire resilience with five priorities in mind:

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

Planned Projects

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Community Meetings

Join Fire and Parks and Recreation staff to learn more about our upcoming projects. Hear about the unique hazards and resources within each open space and provide your thoughts to help guide our future work plans.

Past Meetings 
January 4, 2024  at 12:00 p.m.
Parma Park Project
Virtual Meeting

September 13, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Honda Valley Project
Highlands Condominium Association's Clubhouse
1021 Miramonte Drive

Funding

Historically, City Fire crews and Parks and Recreation staff have not had the resources for a comprehensive approach to fire safety across open space parks. Through ongoing collaboration, the Departments have secured nearly $3 million in grant funding to support wildfire prevention efforts.

In February 2023, the Coastal Conservancy awarded the City of Santa Barbara a $525,000 grant to support wildfire prevention and resilience efforts. This grant, in addition to $87,800 match funding from the Fire Department, will cover comprehensive biological resource reports in seven open space parks to inform future work plans, and the execution of work plans in three of seven of the parks. 

In October 2023, the City of Santa Barbara was awarded an approximately $2.9 million CAL FIRE grant to support hazardous fuels management in the remaining parks, plus additional open space areas. The grant will allow for biological resource reports to be conducted in 11 additional locations and work plans to be executed in 15 open space areas.

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.