WeatherFire Watch


Local fire departments prepare for Red Flag Warning

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 22:37:59-04

High temperatures and strong winds mean local fire departments are on high alert and they're encouraging local residents to prepare as well.

"The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department, we are always prepared for any type of emergency or event that comes through and we want the community to also take that preparation seriously," said James Blattler, San Luis Obispo Fire Department PIO.

Blattler says that means being prepared while hiking or taking part in other outdoor activities by drinking enough water and being aware of the current weather conditions.

"During peak fire season, we do expect to see multiple cases of where Red Flag Warnings are issued and we are prepared for that so at San Luis Obispo Fire Department, we're prepared year-round and we want the community to do the same," Blattler said.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Santa Barbara County South Coast.

"The reason for this Red Flag Warning is because we have elevated temperatures, decreased relative humidity, and increased winds. You couple that with with the fact that we didn't have a significant rain season this winter, the fields right now are about 30-45 days ahead of where they would be in a normal given year," said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, Santa Barbara County Fire PIO.

Captain Bertucelli says these conditions make it likely that if a fire were to start, it could grow rapidly. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has begun to prepare for the possibility of wildfires during the Red Flag Warning.

"We have upstaffed starting this morning and it's going to go throughout the Red Flag event," Bertucelli said.

Though the fire department is prepared, it is still important to be aware of your surroundings and have a plan in place in case you need to leave.

"You do not need to wait for us to tell you to go. If you are uncomfortable in the situation that you're in, go," Bertucelli said.