The Independent is reporting that because water reserves are low, crews fighting the Tea Fire announced this morning that they want Santa Barbara residents to use as little water as possible. Turn off your lawn sprinklers and keep personal use to minimum.

Direct Relief International (DRI), in cooperation with the Santa Barbara County Health
Department and the City of Santa Barbara will be distributing free NIOSH N-95 face masks to residents between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Friday, November 14, 2008 at MacKenzie Park in the parking lot off Los Positas Road.

DRI has a very limited supply of masks so please request only what you absolutely need if you cannot avoid outdoor exposure to the smoke generated by the Tea Fire.

Also, Ray Ford reports that it is anticipated that the winds will pick up as the day progresses, and that Rattlesnake Canyon is very critical right now, as the fire is making it’s way up the west side of Rattlesnake Canyon. If it reaches the West Ridge of Rattlesnake, the next stop for the fire is Mission Canyon.

You can listen to Ray Ford’s full report below.