The Santa Barbara County Ag Pass Program was created to provide a uniform way to identify vetted commercial farm and ranch owner-operators and their employees to firefighting personnel, California Highway Patrol Officers, Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement officers, and other emergency personnel. Possession of an Ag Pass during a wildfire or a similar disaster (or, “all-hazard” emergency) potentially allows the agriculturalist limited emergency access to areas that may otherwise be restricted to the public, in order to 1) protect or care for agricultural assets (such as irrigating crops or feeding, watering, and transporting livestock) and/or 2) provide support information to emergency personnel (such as identifying access roads and water points).
Ag Pass cards are applied for by and distributed to eligible agriculturalists before a disaster. The application process is designed to confirm that the cardholder is a bona fide agricultural owner-operator or employee whose services are essential to providing protection or care to agricultural assets, such as livestock, croplands, vineyards, and orchards. Individuals eligible for the Ag Pass must be key personnel who have a working knowledge of the agricultural property, including access to irrigation systems, farm equipment, and other essential infrastructure. Before the Ag Pass is provided, they will be provided training in emergency procedures and understand that their role is to provided limited protection and/or care to the agricultural operation, not to fight fire or act as first responders during disaster.
Click HERE to go to the Ag Pass Program website to learn more about the program and download the application documents.