The skies over UC Santa Barbara may be smoky the week after commencement, but it won’t be another wildfire. It will, in fact, be a prescribed burn on the campus’s Lagoon Island, conducted by the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) in conjunction with the UC Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Arson Task Force. The burn is scheduled to take place sometime during the week of June 16.
The exact date of the burn will depend on fog conditions in the area and approval from the Air Pollution Control District (APCD). “We will be conducting the burn on the day with the least amount of fog, in order to get a hot enough burn to reduce the viability of the non-native seed bank,” Lisa Stratton, director of ecosystem management at CCBER, said of the procedure, which is part of a management effort to control non-native grasses and establish native coastal bluff scrub vegetation. The burn will begin after 11 a.m. on the chosen day.
This procedure will mark the sixth year that UCSB has conducted the burn. The California Coastal Commission and the APCD have granted the necessary permits, and campus officials have conducted a fire safety meeting with Santa Barbara County fire officials.