A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or will occur soon. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that a Red Flag Warning is a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures that can create extreme fire behavior. Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service usually 24 hours in advance of a Red Flag Event.
The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with local fire officials to create a text messaging system for local residents when a Red Flag Warning is issued in Santa Barbara County. Residents can simply text the word redflag to 888777. By receiving the message from emergency officials, residents in high fire hazard areas can increase their awareness and vigilance.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that after a Red Flag Warning is issued, citizens should take appropriate precautions that include, but are not limited to the following:
- Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 9- 1-1 (if you call 9-1-1 from your cell phone, you must know your location).
- Use extreme caution when operating spark or 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.
For more information about Red Flag Warnings, please visit www.sbcfire.com.