Continued record-breaking hot weather pumps up fire danger
Thursday afternoon marked the third consecutive day that both Santa Maria and Santa Barbara broke heat records. Several Southern California readings shattered records as well, creating difficult conditions for firefighters battling the Etiwanda fire.
Santa Maria hit a record-breaking high of 96 Thursday, beating the previous high of 92. Santa Barbara... peaked out at 89 degrees, breaking a record held since 1961 of 83 degrees.
San Luis Obispo has been just as hot, but hasn't broken any official records this week. Thursday's official high is taken at Cal Poly where the mercury topped out at 91 degrees, well shy of the record for this date. The airport's readings have broken records this week for that location, but Thursday's 92 was not among them.
Red Flag warnings were scheduled to end Thursday at 8:00 p.m. for Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
The Etiwanda Fire burning near Rancho Cucamonga was reported by Cal Fire Thursday evening at 53 percent containment with 1627 acres burned. A fire burning west of King City was reportedly 75 percent contained Thursday morning. It broke out Wednesday afternoon and has burned 65 acres.
Tina Rose is the spokesperson for SLO County Fire and says despite the somewhat green hillsides, don't be fooled, we are in a serious fire situation.
"What we're experiencing right now is, obviously it's super hot outside, it's super dry, and then we've got a wind event, very strong winds," said Rose. "Those are the three things that firefighters fear the most—it's a recipe for disaster."
The spokeswoman says now is the time to clear the defensible space around your home if you haven't done so already.