Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases title=
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases
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Update by Santa Barbara County Fire Department
July 24, 2018

A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 3 p.m. today through 10 a.m. Thursday for the Santa Barbara County South Coast and Mountains.

In anticipation of the Red Flag Warning, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department will increase its staffing level during this period. The increased staffing level will include three engines, two dozers, one water tender, two hand crews, one battalion chief and one helicopter with night flying capabilities. In addition, Cal OES has provided a strike team of engines (five engines) that will be prepositioned in the Goleta area. These additional resources will be available to respond throughout the Santa Barbara County Operational Area.

As a result of the issuance of the Red Flag Warning, citizens should take appropriate precautions. These precautions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 911.
  • Use extreme caution when operating spark-of-flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place and identify two exit routes from your neighborhood. If you are asked to evacuate by fire or law enforcement officials, do so immediately.
  • Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.

Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
July 23, 2018

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Santa Barbara County South Coast and Mountains (zones CAZ252, CAZ239) in effect from 3 pm Tuesday July 24, 2018 to 10 am Thursday July 26, 2018.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can create extreme fire behavior.

* Winds...Areas of northwest to north winds 20 to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Winds will be strongest around the Santa Ynez Range, from the San Marcos Pass and westward, during the late afternoon and overnight hours.

* Relative Humidity...Minimum humidity’s between 10 and 20 percent in foothills and wind prone areas, with poor overnight recovery.

* Temperatures...Maximum temperatures between 95 and 105 degrees inland of the beaches, with warm overnight conditions.

* Impacts...If fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid wildfire spread that would lead to a threat to life and property. Use extreme caution with any potential ignition sources.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected. A combination of strong winds, hot temperatures, very low relative humidity and dry fuels could contribute to extreme fire danger and/or fire behavior. Use extreme caution with potential ignition sources.

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John Wiley Jul 24, 2018 04:56 PM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

SBA wx is hopeful: As of of 4pm the weather (wx) they reported was 76°F, RH 64%, Wind SSE 7mph. Forecast (fc) was Wind SE 10mph. Absent was any warning of "Wind Shear" which is associated with sundowners where the SBA wind is NOTE from the North, but wind above the ground IS from the North. Obviously the situation is much different in the foothills, but I don't recall any significant sundowner within 5 miles of SBA when there wasn't an SBA wind shear warning. The aviation wind forecast DOES predict significant down-slope (thus hot & dry) wind on our front country slopes, strongest toward the West, and including further East at higher elevations from about 8pm to 7am. Clearly we need to be extra vigilant, in case the forecast is wrong and in case we DO get some sundowner winds well West and maybe also in the mountains East of SBA.

a-1571816102 Jul 24, 2018 02:16 PM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

SBCFireInfo @EliasonMike 2h2 hours ago---#RedFlag-SBC will increase staffing beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday until Thursday morning. A Cal OES 5-Engine Strike Team will be pre-positioned along with a SBC Task Force of 3 Engines, 2 Dozers , 2 Hand Crews, 1 Water Tender, 1 Battalion Chief & Copter w night flying capability.

Luvaduck Jul 24, 2018 10:24 AM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

There should be an ordinance that prohibits chain saws and other spark generating tools during red alerts and a heft fine to property owners whether they're using them or paying someone else to use them. They're noisy so it would be easy to enforce. Fines should go tofire department funds supporting injured or killed firemen's families.

a-1571816102 Jul 23, 2018 06:09 PM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

"Looks like all this heat finally triggered an @SCE request for people to conserve energy at peak hours (5 to 9pm). Verified account @SCE. State officials have issued a @FlexAlert for Tuesday and Wednesday from 5-9 p.m. Please conserve energy to decrease demand on the grid. "

a-1571816102 Jul 23, 2018 01:40 PM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

I'm not sure that relying solely on Edhat as an emergency notification is a great idea. Edhat is great, but if you're not checking the site constantly, you could miss something. I hope you are signed up for County alerts!

Trudi Jul 23, 2018 03:18 PM
Red Flag Warning Through Thursday, Firefighter Staffing Increases

Don't weed whack, don't light outside fires or throw lit cigaretts out your window, make sure any chains hauling trailers are not dragging, look out for anyone doing any of the above or anything else that could spark a fire.

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