Red Flag Alert Warning

What is a Red Flag Warning?
Red Flag WarningA Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation. After drought conditions, and when humidity is very low, and especially when high or erratic winds which may include lightning are a factor, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies, which often alter their staffing and equipment resources dramatically to accommodate the forecast risk.

The NWS Warning is issued when their forecast includes any two of the following conditions:

  • A sustained wind average 15 mph or greater, and
  • Relative humidity less than or equal to 25%, and
  • 10 hour fuel moisture less than 8%.

To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.  It is critical that every person consider their actions in relation to the probability of a wildfire.  Early notification is critical to responding agencies - report problems as soon as you are made aware of them.  Most importantly, have a family evacuation plan in place.  If given only 5 minutes to evacuate your home, consider in advance what items you would take with you.

Because these conditions can occur very quickly and for a specific area, you need to be prepared to act quickly.

  • Hitch your horse trailer to your vehicle or park your trailer facing out.
  • Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by dialing 911 (If you dial 911 from your cellular phone, you MUST know your location).
  • Use extreme caution when operating spark or flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place and identify two exit routes from your neighborhood. If you are asked to evacuate by fire or police officials, do so immediately.
  • Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.

panax