A red flag warning has been issued for the mountains of Santa Barbara County from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 9 a.m. Thursday, although the warning could be extended into that evening, according to the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.
The warning for critical fire danger is the result of dry conditions, anticipated high temperatures and predicted strong winds, but the heat is expected to continue through Thursday and winds could remain strong into the evening, forecasters said.
Sundowner winds on the mountain ridges Thursday were forecast at 15 to 25 mph, with gusts of 35 to 40 mph, with overnight low temperatures still in the 80s.
Temperatures are expected to reach 105 degrees in the Santa Ynez Valley on Thursday, with afternoon winds from 15 to 20 mph gusting to 25 mph.
Santa Maria is expected to reach a high of 90 degrees Thursday, with winds from 10 to 15 mph gusting to 25 mph in the afternoon.
The high in Lompoc is forecast at 89 degrees Thursday, with winds also from 10 to 15 mph gusting to 25 mph in the afternoon.
Heat advisories are in effect for all three areas through Friday, the National Weather Service said, and relative humidity will range between 8% and 12%.
Residents and visitors are being advised to avoid fire-related activities and exposure to the heat, limit physical activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., drink plenty of water, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, seek shade and air-conditioning and never leave pets, children or the elderly alone in vehicles.
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