State at risk for wildfires

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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The National Weather Service (NWS) today designated portions of Alabama as a wildfire risk. A fire weather watch or a red flag warning will continue through 7 p.m. on Sept. 28.

A cold front combined with low relative humidity (RH) is forecasted this week as Hurricane Ian churns through the Gulf of Mexico. Winds will create a favorable atmosphere for critical fire conditions according to Ryan Mitchell, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional agent.

“A dry frontal boundary passed through our state early this week which brought cooler temperatures and a greatly-reduced humidity,” Mitchell said. “In general, the RH is forecasted to drop between 15 to 25 percent across the region. Although Hurricane Ian is unlikely to directly impact Alabama, the state will be affected by upper air winds. Transport winds are expected to be between 20 to 35 miles per hour during the next two days.”

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Red flag warnings are implemented when fire conditions are currently occurring or about to happen. A fire weather watch is issued when critical fire conditions are forecasted to happen.

Mitchell said that even though the red flag will lift later in the week, the winds will not. Homeowners should wait for better weather conditions before burning any piles of sticks and leaves. Be sure to practice fire safety and consult local officials when it is safe to burn again. For timely updates to the fire weather forecast, visit the NWS website or the organization’s social media pages.