The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning encompassing the Santa Barbara County interior mountains and the Santa Ynez mountains, eastern range.
Red Flag Warning Duration: In effect from 3 PM this afternoon to 6 AM PST Saturday for wind and low relative humidity for central and eastern mountains of Santa Barbara County. While the Santa Barbara South Coast and Santa Ynez Valley is not included in this Red Flag Warning, residents should stay alert as winds could push any new fire starts toward the coast.
A Red Flag Warning signifies that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Winds are predicted to come from the North to North East at 15-30 MPH with gusts to 50 MPH. Isolated gusts up to 60 MPH are possible in the windiest locations. Relative humidity minimums 5-15%. Poor overnight recoveries of 20-40%, possibly lower in some locations. If fire ignition occurs, conditions will be favorable for extreme fire behavior and rapid fire spread, which could threaten life and property.
In light of the Red Flag Warning issuance, citizens are advised to take appropriate precautions. These precautions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Utilize sites like Weather.com to check forecasts by location and ZIP code, offering hourly temperature predictions for the current and following day.
- Establish an evacuation plan, identifying two exit routes from your neighborhood. If instructed to evacuate by fire or law enforcement officials, do so immediately.
- Review the Ready, Set, Go program (https://www.sbcfire.com/ready-set-go).
- Report any signs of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 911 (if calling 911 from your cell phone, ensure you know your location).
- Exercise extreme caution when operating spark or flame-producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.
- Avoid activities such as hiking and other front country trail-related activities.
- Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.