Fire Danger

Oct 19, 2015: For the third time in the last 7 days, we dealt with strong winds, gusting over 30 mph. These pesky wind gusts can make walking and driving difficult, and make your yard messy with leaves, to say the least.

A bigger issue with the strong wind gusts this last week has been with brush fires. Each of the windy days has resulted in at least a couple brush fires sparking up and spreading quickly.  Today featured the most ideal setting for out of control brush fires, prompting a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service.

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What is a Red Flag Warning? These are issued when dangerous fire conditions exist. In these weather conditions, a brush or wild fire can spread rapidly, making the fire very difficult to control and put out, if not caught quickly.

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Strong winds are able to blow sparks, embers, and flame around very easily. Add in dry air and warm temperatures, and the environment helps spark and spread a fire quickly. To top it all off, dry brush and crops provide great fuel for the fires to consume. We’ve barely had any rain over the last month, so there are plenty of fields and lawns that are very dry. Combine all of these, and the situation can be dangerous, as explosive fire development can occur if one gets started.

As we’ve seen in the last week, several brush fires have spread quickly in these conditions, with each of the windy days featuring at least a couple brush fires. Remember, on windy and dry days, especially when we’ve gone a while without rain, avoid open burning, and be very careful with any work with flames, sparks, or embers. Always dispose of cigarettes properly, and never leave a fire or coals unattended (not just in windy weather- in any circumstance).

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We should get a little shower activity starting Tuesday evening, which will help moisten up our area, and reduced some of the fire danger on the next windy day.

– Alex

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on October 19, 2015

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