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Red Flag Warning prompts fire agencies to remind locals to prepare for wildfires

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 00:37:26-05

Fire agencies across the Central Coast are urging people to have their go-bags ready as Red Flag Warnings cover much of Southern California due to a combination of strong winds and low humidity that can increase the danger of wildfires.

CAL FIRE, along with several other agencies across the Central Coast, is currently up-staffed, meaning they have more people ready to operate fire engines and more dispatchers ready to answer 911 calls as these red flag conditions continue.

Hillsides along the Central Coast remain brown and dry as weeks continue to go by without much measurable rain.

"This time of year we would have had significant rainfall and we have not. It's our new norm," said Assistant Chief Josh Taylor, CAL FIRE SLO.

On Monday, CAL FIRE SLO responded to several brush fires, including one in Pismo Beach and another in the Santa Maria Riverbed that both had the potential to spread rapidly due to the strong winds and dry brush.

"Normally, winds are not this strong for an offshore wind event, but they're sustained at 20 mph, gusting to 40 and 50 mph which is not too common for San Luis Obispo County," Taylor said.

CAL FIRE SLO is using weather stations to help them track the latest conditions across the county.

"No matter what the day is during our declared fire season, we're checking it four times a day to get an accurate depiction of what the weather is and that determines how many of what kind of resources we're sending to fires," Taylor said.

CAL FIRE SLO recommends packing a bag with copies of important documents, cell phone chargers, clothes, food, and food for your pets to be ready to go in case of an emergency.