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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 12:02 pm | Fair 54º


Temps Expected to Rise as Santa Barbara County Heat Wave Continues

Forecast calls for highs in the low 90s — and 100 in Santa Maria and Santa Ynez — before a weekend cool-down

Santa Barbara County’s heat wave didn’t break any records Tuesday, but temperatures are supposed to get a little higher on Wednesday, reaching the low 90s, according to the National Weather Service.

Santa Maria and Santa Ynez are expected to hit 100 over the next couple of days, weather specialist Bonnie Bartling said. 

The weather station at the Santa Barbara Airport recorded a high of 89 at 3:53 p.m. Tuesday, the highest point of the day.

Temperatures are expected to cool down to the 70s over the weekend on the South Coast, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Ventura County did break records this week, with 95-degree heat in Oxnard and Camarillo on Tuesday.

The hot, dry weather made the County Fire Department increase its staffing starting Tuesday, which was quickly put to use for the Lompoc vegetation fire that started Tuesday afternoon in the Miguelito Canyon area.

Up to 200 structures were threatened, and evacuations were started in the canyon and city of Lompoc.

The blaze burned 500 to 700 acres by Tuesday evening without being contained, according to County Fire. Flames were pushed by winds, which is always the wildcard for these vegetation fires.

Fire agencies held a wildland fire season meeting last week and many of the procedures they discussed, like coordinating air support with retardant-dropping tankers, is already on display.

They also talked about the worrisome moisture levels in vegetation. Even though recent rains helped, the heat wave is expected to dry out grasses, bushes and trees very quickly. 

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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