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What are Red Flag Warnings?

Published On: Jul 28 2011 11:38:11 AM EDT

Red Flag Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service as a forecast warning to inform area firefighters and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wild fires to start and spread.

During drought conditions, times of low humidity and especially when high or erratic winds are a factor, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies to prepare their staff and equipment to battle wild fires.

To individuals living in this area, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger and an increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.


The criteria for fire watches and red flag warnings can vary between the different Weather Service Offices' warning areas, based on the local vegetation type, topography and distance from major water sources.

The warning statements usually includes the daily vegetation moisture content calculations, expected afternoon high temperature, afternoon minimum relative humidity and daytime wind speed.

Outdoor burning bans may also be issued by local law and fire agencies based on Red Flag Warnings.

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