Fire Management

Amid smoky skies, an airplane drops red retardant on hillsides

Our mission is to provide safe, efficient and economical fire management while sustaining, protecting and restoring ecosystems.

Current Incidents

Alisal Fire - Santa Barbara Ranger District

The Alisal Fire started on October 11, 2021 at 2:10 pm near the Alisal Resevoir near West Camino Cielo. Strong northwest winds pushed the fire south over the summit towards the Tajiguas Landfill and crossed Hwy 101 to Tajiguas Beach. As of Tuesday, October 12, the fire has grown to approximately 13,400 acres with 5 percent containment and is burning 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara in Refugio Canyon.

Willow Fire Information - Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) Assessment Report

The Willow Fire that started in the Ventana Wilderness on the Monterey Ranger District on June 17, 2021 is 100% contained. Full containment was reached on July 11, 2021. Los Padres National Forest completed its post-fire assessment for emergency stabilization measures and actions on National Forest System (NFS) lands burned by the Willow Fire.The emergency treatments and activities are designed to decrease possible impacts to critical values from the burned area such as: life and safety, property, critical natural resources, and cultural resources.

Operating Principles:

  • Apply the best science in efforts to restore and maintain healthy fire dependent ecosystems
  • Plan and execute FAM operations in a safe, effective and cost efficient manner
  • Actively participate and provide leadership supporting all elements of the Forest Service mission
  • Provide leadership in developing interagency cooperation and partnerships
  • Provide leadership in conservation education
  • Ensure a professional, diverse and motivated workforce that is able to adapt and derive benefit during times of change
  • Proudly serve the nation as Forest Service employees

Fire Danger Rating

The local Fire Danger Rating can vary in different areas of the forest.

Fire usage and other restrictions are based on a Forest Average Fire Danger Rating and take into account current and antecedent weather, fuel types, and both live and dead fuel moisture.

Elements of a Prescribed Burn

Firefighters and fire engines observe the prescribed burn; ready incase they are needed.Brookshire Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project - Colson Burn Unit was initiated on December 12 and continued on through December 14, 2005. The project goal was to burn some of the older and dead fuel in order protect private property and public resources such as watersheds, wilderness and species habitat from wildfire damage.

This prescribed burn project will be used as an example to explain prescribed fire.


Being Ready—Wildfire Preparedness

Wildfire is Coming ... Are You Ready?

It takes the combination of both Defensible space and the hardening of your home to really give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

One Less Spark—One Less Wildfire

One Less Spark—One Less Wildfire

Whether it's ensuring a campfire or landscape debris burn of leaves and branches is completely extinguished, or keeping a vehicle well maintained to prevent sparks, following just a few simple steps can help prevent wildfires.


National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)

NIFC is located in Boise, Idaho, and is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting.

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

A strategic push to work collaboratively among all stakeholders and across all landscapes.