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Winds weakening at Thomas Fire but dry air may cause erratic fir - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Winds weakening at Thomas Fire but dry air may cause erratic fire behavior

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Courtesy: Ben Wooldridge - Thomas Fire smoke over Pismo Pier Courtesy: Ben Wooldridge - Thomas Fire smoke over Pismo Pier

Red flag fire weather conditions persist through at least Monday afternoon at the Thomas Fire. 

Santa Barbara County is not under a red flag warning, however warm temperatures and dry conditions are a recipe for elevated fire danger. 

Light offshore winds will continue to push the fire toward Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara and surrounding areas, but sundowner winds are not expected for Santa Barbara County

Winds are weakening however, they are now more unpredictable in direction. This can cause erratic fire behavior at times. 

Residents may notice the smoke plume billowing more today. 

On the eastern flank of the fire near Santa Paula, where the Thomas Fire first broke out, daytime highs will climb into the mid-80s. 

On the more active side of the fire, progressing into the backcountry of Montecito, highs will be in the low 70s. 

The thick smoke blanketing the coast is blocking sunlight and thus causing daytime highs to drop from the weekend.

Dry, drought-stressed fuels coupled with very dry air may cause the fire to grow on the west and north sides. 

Relative humidities will be in the single digits and teens much of the day with little recovery overnight. 

Offshore flow is expected to return to the area Friday and through the weekend which should be beneficial for firefighting efforts. 

Air quality remains unhealthy for much of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. 

Modelling shows the smoke will drift out of the area Monday night into Tuesday morning. Clearer, healthy skies should return by mid-week. 

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