By the Santa Barbara County Fire Department
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning encompassing the Santa Barbara County mountains (including the Santa Ynez Range) and the South Coast.
Red Flag Warning Duration: 5 pm Tuesday, Sept. 26th through 9 am Wednesday, Sept. 27th, 2023. Relative Humidity (RH) may not reach criteria; however, predicted winds are strong enough to warrant Red Flag issuance. Coastal temperatures are forecasted to be between 75-85°F.
Red Flag Watch Duration: 9 am Wednesday, Sept. 27th through 5 am Thursday, Sept. 28th.
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 NW-N with gusts of 30-50 MPH. Isolated gusts up to 60 MPH are possible in the Gaviota and Montecito areas. The strongest winds are expected during the evening and overnight hours through and below passes along the Santa Ynez range. 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.