Christmas trees pose extreme danger

Children at Foothill School on Ribera Drive received a vivid, frightening lesson Tuesday morning on the flammable danger of Christmas trees, after they witnessed the explosive speed with which one can burn.

Two young men working on a vehicle in front of their home at 720 Ribera had placed a road flare on the street to warn oncoming motorists. The flare rolled next to the tree and set it on fire. Damage was confined to the tree and there was no loss, according to Capt. Keith Cullom of the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept.

“The concern of the County Fire Department is that all Christmas trees be removed from inside homes by now and disposed of safely,” said Cullom. Local waste collection companies will pick up discarded trees if they are placed next to the curb on the normal green waste disposal day for the residence. Discarded trees must be cut into pieces four feet or less in length to be picked up. Trees may also be taken to the waste transfer station off of Calle Real near the county Sheriff’s Department.

Residents are cautioned never to place any part of a Christmas tree into a fireplace because of the extreme danger posed by the rapid burn rate of dry trees and branches, said Cullom. Residents should always dispose of trees in designated dumpsites or through waste collection firms.

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