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Friday, February 22 , 2019, 8:55 pm | Fair 50º


Gusty, Dry Weather Headed for Santa Barbara County as Canyon Fire Continues to Rage

While the South Coast and Santa Barbara mountains will have more fire-critical weather, the Vandenberg Air Force Base area will be subject to gusty winds

As the Canyon Fire continues to char the Vandenberg Air Force Base, strong winds and critical fire-weather conditions are headed to Santa Barbara County.

The South Coast and Santa Barbara mountains will be subject to a Red Flag Warning from 3 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, meaning that the combination of warm temperatures, low relative humidity and high winds will make the spark and spread of wildfire much easier.

Winds are expected range from 20 to 33 mph, with gusts at 40 to 55 mph, according to Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office.

Relative humidity is expected to dip to 8 to 15 percent, he said, while temperatures are projected to be in the 80s in Santa Barbara.

If something sparks, Munroe said, there “could be a rapid spread of wildfire that could threaten life and property.”

The South Coast and Santa Barbara mountains have a wind advisory issued until 6 a.m. Friday, he added.

A wind advisory will also be covering the western-facing coasts of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, including the site of the Canyon Fire, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Conditions at the fire area, however, will not be as severe as the South Coast.

Temperatures at the Vandenberg Air Force Base are forecasted to be in the low- to mid-60s Thursday, before rising to the high-60s to low-70s Friday, Munroe said. 

Winds, he said, are expected to range from 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph.

“We’re going to have a decent marine influence, especially Thursday,” he said of the fire area. 

Crews have made rapid progress containing the Canyon Fire, which ballooned to more than 12,000 acres and was 50-percent contained by Wednesday morning. 

More than 1,000 fire personnel are working to put it out, with containment projected for Sept. 30, according to fire officials.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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