Ref Flag Warning issued for Santa Barbara County mountains

A firefighter douses flames Thursday afternoon near the Gaviota Tunnel (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

Contributed

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the mountains of Santa Barbara County (zone CAZ252) effective from 3 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday for gusty North to Northeast winds and low relative humidity.

* Winds…Areas of North to Northeast winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts 45 to 55 mph…strongest near Montecito Hills.

* Relative Humidity…Minimum values 10 to 20 percent…with poor recovery Saturday night.

* Temperatures…Rising into the lower 80s across the Santa Ynez mountains Saturday afternoon and evening.

* Impacts…If fire ignition occurs, there will be the potential for very rapid spread of wildfire with long range spotting and extreme fire behavior that could lead to a threat to life and property.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can create extreme fire behavior.

As a result of the issuance of the Red Flag Warning, citizens should take appropriate precautions. These precautions include, but are not limited to the following:

Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 911 (if your call 911 from your cell phone, you must know your location).

Use extreme caution when operating spark of flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.

Have an evacuation plan in place and identify two exit routes from your neighborhood. If you are asked to evacuate by fire or law enforcement officials, do so immediately.

Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.