With high temperatures, strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity levels creating a perfect storm of conditions for brushfires around Santa Barbara County, local firefighters are increasing their forces and preparing for the worst.
On Oct. 8, the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. announced that it would be temporarily adding additional firefighters to their roster. The Fire Dept. will also be adding a firefighting task force, consisting of three brush-type engines, a water tender and a task force leader.
The department said it would maintain this staff and equipment increase as an extra safety precaution at least through Friday or until conditions dictate otherwise.
The department has not, however, declared a local Red Flag Alert.
In anticipation of high fire-risk conditions, the department urges local residents to be alert to unusual or suspicious activity in brush areas.
Moreover, citizens are urged to take measures to make their homes less susceptible to fires by removing burnable material from the parameters of their homes and by clearing rain gutters of dry leaves.
The biggest fire in Southern California, the Sesnon Fire, is currently making its way toward Ventura County, but crews anticipate they will be able to protect homes in the area. Two strike teams from Santa Barbara are currently aiding the firefighting efforts.