The U.S. Forest Service started a pile burning operation Thursday on Figueroa Mountain, and additional burns are planned through the rest of March, a Los Padres National Forest spokesman said.
Crews plan to burn from 1 to 10 acres of slash from felled dead trees and brush each day, said Andrew Madsen, Los Padres public affairs officer.
Burning operations will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 5 p.m. on permissive burn days when weather conditions are right to direct smoke away from populated areas, Madsen said.
The goal of the one-day pile burns are to reduce the risk of wildfire and lessen the impacts should a wildfire break out in the area, he said.
Prescribed burns can help prevent wildfires from spreading and can reduce the impacts on watersheds resulting from soil loss and sedimentation.
The burning operation is planned and coordinated by the Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, San Joaquin Valley and Ventura County air pollution control districts and the California Air Resources Board to minimize impacts on area communities.