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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 4:01 am | Fair 49º


Red Flag Fire Warning Issued for South Coast

National Weather Service forecast calls for high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity, all contributing to extreme danger

Hot, dry weather has prompted a red flag warning for high fire danger for the South Coast on Thursday.

“If fire ignition occurs, there could be rapid spread of wildfire that would lead to a threat to life and property,” the National Weather Service said in its warning.

The forecast from 3 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday calls for gusty sundowner winds and low humidity, contributing to the dry, extreme fire danger, according to the National Weather Service. The strongest winds are likely to be in the foothills and the Santa Ynez Valley, with gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

The Montecito Fire Protection District and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department have increased their staffing levels in response to the fire danger.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden closed Thursday to the public and staff, and plans to reopen after the warning is lifted.

Temperatures could reach into the 90s and 100s in the foothills and inland areas, though coastal Santa Barbara is expected to hit a high of 79.

People planning outdoor activities should consider the hot temperatures. The National Weather Service also reminds people never to leave pets or children in enclosed vehicles, even if windows are partially open, since temperatures can rise to life-threatening levels.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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