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Santa Barbara - South County

Santa Barbara County residents brace for safety outages after windy first day of stay-at-home order

Wind whips up fire danger
Windy conditions Summerland
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - People trying to exercise on Monday morning felt like they were being sandblasted on the beach in Carpinteria.

Scott Gendron said the sand blew so hard it looked like a wave. He waited until the winds died down a bit before taking his walk.

Meri Gyves said the wind reminded her of the wind-driven Thomas Fire and its aftermath three years ago.

She is a cancer patient and made a quick trip to buy poinsettias. She chose not to stock up on more supplies due to the stay-at-home order.

She said she would rather share than hoard.

Martin Aguilar watched the wind from a balcony near the beach with his wife Laura. The retired Oxnard fireman fought the Thomas Fire in Carpinteria and Montecito before the mudslide.

He said they are staying in Carpinteria to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

While they watched the sunset he recalled all the thank you signs people put up for the firefighters and first responders.

He said the town fed them, too.

People are bracing for possible Public Safety Power Shutoffs after dark.

Southern California Edison created the shutoff policy to prevent wildfires from starting and growing during wind warnings.

Ventura County locals worry about Santa Ana winds, while Santa Barbara County locals worry about sundowner winds. Both create extreme fire danger.

Santa Barbara County Fire's Mike Eliason tweeted about the Red Flag Warning expected to last until at least noon on Tuesday.

By phone, he said firefighters may have been too busy to move the fire warning sign to extreme on Toro Canyon Road in Summerland.

He hopes people will be alert and have a plan.

Eliason also described gusty northeast to east winds that are expected to blow at 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Humidity is only expected to reach up to 15 percent.

Fire / Safety / Ventura County / Weather News
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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