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A Red Flag Warning Was Issued And Many People Asked "What's That?"

Here's An Explanation of the National Weather Service "Red Flag Warning" So You Can Stay Safe in the Future

Posted by Lansing Integrity at 8:29pm 4/22/19

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Lisa Custer

The National Weather Service issued a "Red Flag Warning" on Monday, April 22nd, and many people had no idea what it meant.

Here's the basic premise of the Red Flag Warning, also sometimes referred to as a "Fire Weather Warning":

Conditions are favorable for fire to spread quickly.  As such, the DNR, or in some cases, individual municipalities will then issue burn bans for their communities.  Whether or not a burn ban is issued, when a Red Flag Warning is issued, those in the impacted zone are advised to refrain from open burning.  There are some other activities that can also be dangerous and should be avoided during a Red Flag Warning.

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The National Weather Service advises "A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. The combination of strong winds... low relative humidity... and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Be careful with any activities that could potentially lead to a wildfire. Camping... outdoor grills... smoking materials... chain
saws... and all terrain vehicles all have the potential to throw a spark and ignite a dangerous and destructive fire."

Forecasters look for those three factors when determining whether to issue a Red Flag Warning; relative humidity at or below 25 percent, sustained winds of 20 mph or more, and certain vegetation and brush with an existing limited moisture content (8 percent).

Monday's Red Flag Warning has expired and while there is some rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast for the rest of the week, it is possible that the potential for "Fire Weather" could return.  The National Weather Service may decide to issue a "Fire Weather Watch" should forecasted conditions present at least some of the factors that contribute to increased fire danger.

Get more on our WEATHER page.

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