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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 12:39 am | Fair 50º


‘Red Flag’ Fire-Danger Warning Issued for Parts of Santa Barbara County

A Red Flag Warning for high fire danger has been issued for the Santa Barbara County South Coast and mountains by the National Weather Service.

The warning — due to expected high temperatures, low humidity and gusty sundowner winds — will be in effect from 6 p.m. Sunday until 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Forecasters were calling for temperatures Sunday of 85-95 degrees, rising to 88-100 on Monday.

Minimum relative humidity was expected to be 8-15 percent on Sunday, dropping to 5-10 percent on Monday.

Gusty north to northwest winds of 15-30 mph are likely, with gusts to 45 mph, strongest across the western portions of the forecast area.

“A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected,” the NWS said in its warning. “A combination of strong winds, very low relative humidity, hot temperatures, and very dry fuels can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Please use extreme caution near fire ignition sources.”

Forecasters previously said there is a good chance high-temperature records for Santa Barbara will fall on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department is increasing staffing during the Red Flag period, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni, adding a hand crew, a bulldozer and a water tender.

The NWS also has issued a Coastal Flood Statement, warning of the potential for high surf across south-facing beaches along with astronomical high tides later in the week.

“There is a potential for high surf, strong rip currents and high tides over 7 feet later this week,” the NWS said. “South- to southwest-facing beaches will see the highest surf. The combination of high surf and high tides would bring local beach erosion and minor flooding of beach parking lots.”

Sunny skies are forecast throughout the coming week, with a gradual cooling trend down to the upper-70s.

Click here for the latest forecast.

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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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