SBBG Onsite Weather Station and Live Fuel Moisture Sampling
Onsite Weather Station (RAWS):
Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) are used throughout the country to monitor weather in remote locations for both fire protection and weather forecasting. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden maintains a RAWS site on its grounds (visible from the Porter Trail).
Weather data is transmitted hourly to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho and are used by our local National Weather Service in Oxnard to make accurate weather forecasts.
Live Fuel Moisture Sampling:
Live Fuel Moisture (LFM) is one measure of fire risk that agencies use in planning how to allocate their resources. LFM is simply the amount of moisture contained in fine fuels (living foliage and twigs less than 1/8 inch diameter) expressed as a percent of the dry weight of that fuel. Fire agencies typically consider 60% to be a critical moisture level where fires can become catastrophic.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has been collaborating with UC Berkeley to measure LFM in Vegetation at Painted Cave, at the top of Tunnel Road, and at St Mary's Seminary on Las Canoas Road.
These results are presented in the graph below and are also distributed to the National Fuel Moisture Database
Live Fuel Moisture SBBG/UCCE: January-July 2014: