The Kern County Fire Department said Thursday it has placed a 14-member hand crew on standby, and secured the availability of a bulldozer and two helicopters, in case ongoing warm, dry conditions result in a local wildfire.

Public Information Officer Brett Grassi said the department ordinarily would not have such a large hand crew on duty at this time of year, and that those working would typically be busy maintaining fire breaks around the county. But such work is not currently a priority.

"They're actually available for fires," he said.

The National Weather Service has responded to low humidity and winds around the state by issuing a red flag warning, signifying fire weather conditions, in areas including the Los Padres National Forest through noon Friday.