Three o’clock marks the start time for the latest Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service. Critical fire weather, signaled by high winds, heat, and extreme low humidity, is expected in the Santa Ynez Valley mountain areas (Zone CAZ252, pink, on the map above) and the South Coast (CAZ239, brown). The warning runs from 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 18 through to 6 a.m. Wednesday, October 19, according to Santa Barbara County Fire.
Despite the slight rains Sunday night, with the Red Flag Warning in place, residents, visitors, campers, and hikers are asked to use extreme caution if operating flame- or spark-producing equipment or gear in areas that are grassy or contain brush. They are also asked to call 9-1-1 immediately to report signs of fire or smoke, and to consider at least two evacuation routes from neighborhoods. Fire agencies are responding to the warning by increasing staffing and equipment for the duration.