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Red Flag Warning issued due to potential for dry lightning & high winds

By Christina Atchison
Jul 18, 2021 at 12:12 AM

MONTECITO, CA – Montecito Fire Department is preparing for dangerously elevated fire weather conditions and asks community members to take steps now to be ready to evacuate in the event of a wildfire.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Santa Barbara County from 6 a.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Monday, due to an increased threat of thunderstorms with potential for dry lightning as well as gusty, erratic winds.

A Red Flag Warning means critical fire weather conditions are occurring now or will soon. The combination of extremely dry vegetation, gusty winds and thunderstorms that may produce lightning could result in extreme fire behavior.

The National Weather Service says monsoonal moisture will move into our area from early Sunday through Monday. This monsoonal pattern may produce a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. There is a threat of isolated dry lightning strikes and strong winds with gusts up to 40 mph possible. These conditions could result in fire ignitions and rapid fire spread. Given the historically dry fuel moisture levels, any lightning strikes could spark significant wildfire events in Montecito or anywhere in Santa Barbara County.

Montecito Fire will increase staffing levels in response to the Red Flag Warning and urges community members to prepare for wildfire.

Please review the “Ready! Set! Go!” wildfire action plan. We are currently in the “Set!” phase. Also, register for emergency alerts at Click on the red button to sign up to receive alerts via text, phone and email. Follow Montecito Fire on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit for updates.

MERRAG team members will staff an information kiosk at the Upper Village Green on East Valley Rd. during the Red Flag Warning to assist the community with understanding how to prepare for wildfire.

For questions, please contact Christina Favuzzi, Public Information Officer at 805-680-5526. 


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