Monday, November 12 , 2018, 10:35 am | Smoke 68º


Expected Winds Prompt Red Flag Fire Warning in Santa Barbara County

With gusty winds and low humidity in the forecast, a Red Flag Warning for heightened fire danger has been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of Santa Barbara County.

The warning will go into effect at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and extend until 10 a.m. Thursday.

North to northwest winds of 15-30 mph, with gusts to 45 mph, are expected beginning late Wednesday afternoon.

The strongest winds were expected along the Santa Ynez Mountain Range and adjacent foothills along the county’s South Coast.

Relative humidity of 10-20 percent was expected, with some readings in the single digits likely.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department was increasing its staffing in anticipation of the blustery conditions, according to Mike Eliason, a department spokesman.

The additional resources being pressed into service include a bulldozer to be relocated to the Fire Department’s headquarters on Cathedral Oaks Road near Goleta; a water tender placed on standby and staffed for a 24-hour period; and a duty officer staffed for a 24-hour period at the dispatch center.

South Coast fire stations will be on a heightened state of readiness, Eliason said, and crews will conduct patrols with spot temperature measurements.

The public is urged to use extreme caution when using potential fire ignition sources.

Sunny skies with highs in the low- to mid-80s are forecast through Sunday, followed by a gradual cooling trend.

Overnight lows should be around 50.

[Click here for the latest forecast]

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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