By ANNELISE HANSHAW AND MADISON HIRNEISEN NEWS-PRESS
The potential for critical, widespread fire is most severe today and tonight, warns the Montecito Fire Protection District on Twitter.
The district’s Twitter account is quiet most days but has been posting more frequently as the fire risk increases.
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles raised a red flag warning for south Santa Barbara County beginning Monday evening that lasts through 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The red flag warning could extend through Wednesday night, NWS meteorologist David Sweet told the News-Press.
In red flag warnings, the weather service advises residents to pack emergency supply kits and review evacuation plans.
It also cautions against any activities that could cause a spark. Even chains dragging from a truck can spark a fire.
“Use extreme caution with potential fire ignition sources and best to avoid them altogether. You want to think about any potential activity that could be a fire ignition source and avoid that,” Mr. Sweet said.
NWS forecasts maximum temperatures of 90-100 degrees and a relative humidity of 6-15%.
Vegetation is unseasonably dry, due to a lack of rainfall this water year, and could fuel fire.
The sundowner winds are forecast to reach gusts of 35-50 mph.
Temperatures will begin to cool off Thursday. By Sunday, there should be areas of low fog and cloud in the morning and highs in the 70s and 80s, NWS forecasts.