The Santa Barbara County Fire Department issued a Red Flag Fire warning earlier today due to a hazardous combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures in the county’s South Coast (zone CAZ239) and mountains (zones CAZ236-252).
The strongest winds, which could reach 20-30 mph from the north with gusts of up to 70 mph, are predicted to occur in the evening and overnight hours through and below passes along the Santa Ynez Range. While Santa Barbara’s relative humidity is usually between 60-79 percent, levels could get as low as 10-25 percent. The Red Flag is currently set to end on Sunday, October 20 at 10 p.m.
As a result of the high winds and fire risk, parts of the county have been alerted to a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff by Southern California Edison. The utility is currently monitoring the situation, which could affect as many as 24,000 customers. To stay up-to-date, check the latest information posted at the Edison website.