Due to critical fire weather forecast today and Sunday, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department has received approval from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to increase staffing through 8 a.m. Monday.
In addition to the regularly scheduled staff, the department will have two additional hand crews, two dozers and a water tender ready. In addition, an extra hand crew and dozer will stage near Station 18, at 17200 Mariposa Reina near Gaviota, said department spokesman Capt. Daniel Bertucelli.
A fire weather watch will be in effect from 2 p.m. today through 7 a.m. Sunday. Sundowner winds ranging from 40 to 50 mph are expected, with isolated gusts to 60 mph near Gaviota. Humidity levels are expected to drop into the teens and temperatures may reach the lower 90s, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.