Perfect weather for a fire hazard
POSTED: Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 2:32pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 8:41pm
Red Flag warnings for much of Southwest US
(El Paso) KTSM — A Red Flag Warning is all too common for our area.
We usually see this kind of warning closer toward summer when the heat is high and the humidity is low.
But we started warming up a lot faster this year, and the amount of rain seen in the borderland has been very limited.
And to make this is the perfect recipe for wild fires, you need one more ingredient... Strong Winds, or big-time bad hair day.
So what's the big deal about red flag warnings?
Well here are the criteria needed in order for a Red Flag warning to be issued.
There has to be a relative humidity of 25% or less with either sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater for a duration of 6 hours or more.
There has to be a relative humidity of 10% or less with either sustained winds of 15 mph or greater or frequent gusts of 25 mph or greater for a duration of 6 hours or more.
There is widespread and /or significant dry lightning where there is little or no rainfall associated with the lightning activity.
Still not interested?
Ok, well remember smoky the bear? And remember all the stuff he talked about trying to prevent wild fires?
Well that stuff is what he wants you to put into practice now before we have a repeat of of the Black Forest Fire, the costliest forest fire in Colorado History.
This fire took over 14,280 acres and destroyed 509 homes and left 17 homes partially damaged.
As of June 21, 2013 estimates of damage are expected to exceed $90 million.
So here is what you need to know.
Dispose of smoking materials in an appropriate container and ensure they are completely extinguished.
Do not discard these items into any open area as they may start a fire that will spread rapidly. Do not dispose of smoking materials out of your vehicle when traveling either. Not only is that considered LITTER, but it could quickly turn into an enormous brush fire.
Business owners and property managers should have appropriate disposable containers in areas where smoking occurs outside.
Do not burn brush or trash ever without appropriate approval.
Stay away from your outside grills or cooking equipment during these times.
If you must, (which I really don't understand why anyone would grill in windy conditions, unless you enjoy dirt all over your steak) ensure you have some type of extinguishing agent nearby such as a water hose, bucket of sand, fire extinguisher,etc.
If you have fireplace ashes, you must put them into a sealed metal container placed on a concrete surface away from any structures.
If possible - wait to clean your fireplace until this weather event is over.
Right now, West Texas and Southern New Mexico are under a Red Flag Warning.
The region has a relative humidity, of about 22% and winds reaching speeds up to 40 mph.
Other places around the country are experiencing these dry conditions as well. You have your normal states like California, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona all under a red flag warning.
But you also have North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C. is also under a red flag warning. (Yes, I know. Washington D.C is not a state, just thought I would mention it.)