The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for Santa Barbara County’s South Coast, beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday and remaining in effect until 3 a.m. Thursday.

Sundowner winds reaching speeds of 20 to 35 miles per hour are expected, as are gusts of up to 50 mph through mountain passes and canyons.

Winds could affect travel on Highway 101 near Gaviota, according to a National Weather Service report, particularly for trucks and high-profile vehicles.

On this, the first anniversary of the Jesusita Fire, sundowner winds are a reminder of how quickly the region’s semi-arid landscape can transition to high fire season. Although this has been a relatively wet year for the area, the tall grass and wildflowers that have grown in the foothills have already started to turn color and dry out.

At a news conference last week, fire officials associated with the Fire Chiefs Association of Santa Barbara County and the California Fire Alliance offered a reminder that, in California, fire season lasts all year.

Despite this year’s high rainfall, residents are urged to prepare now in case of fire.

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at