What Is A Red Flag Warning

What Is A Red Flag Warning

What Is A Red Flag Warning

What is a Red Flag Warning?

A Red Flag Warning is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when fire weather conditions are such that a fire, once started, could spread rapidly, making it difficult to control. These warnings are used to alert the public, and especially fire and emergency management officials, of the increased risk of fire danger. The combination of strong and gusty winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels creates ideal conditions for rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior. In addition, thunderstorms can produce lightning-caused fires when they move into dry vegetation.

The NWS issues Red Flag Warnings when all of the following criteria are met:

  • 1-minute average wind speeds of 35 mph or higher
  • Relative humidity of 25% or less
  • Dry fuels are present

Red Flag Warnings are typically issued for areas that are experiencing dry conditions and have an abundance of flammable vegetation, such as grasses, shrubs, and trees. These conditions can occur in any part of the country, but they are most common in the western United States during the summer and fall months.

What to do when a Red Flag Warning is issued

When a Red Flag Warning is issued, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your property from fire. Here are some tips:

  • Be aware of the fire danger in your area. Check the NWS website or local news outlets for the latest information on fire conditions.
  • Avoid activities that could start a fire. This includes smoking, campfires, and fireworks.
  • Clear brush and other flammable materials away from your home and property. This will create a defensible space around your home in the event of a fire.
  • Have a plan for evacuation in case of a fire. Identify two escape routes from your home and make sure everyone in your family knows them.
  • Be prepared to follow instructions from local officials. If a fire does occur, they will provide information on where to go and what to do.

Frequently Asked Questions about Red Flag Warnings

What is the difference between a Red Flag Warning and a Fire Weather Watch?

A Red Flag Warning is issued when fire weather conditions are present and a fire is likely to spread rapidly. A Fire Weather Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a fire to develop and spread rapidly.

What should I do if I see a fire?

If you see a fire, call 911 immediately. Do not try to fight the fire yourself.

What are the consequences of ignoring a Red Flag Warning?

Ignoring a Red Flag Warning can put you and your property at risk. Fires can spread rapidly in Red Flag Warning conditions, and they can be difficult to control.


I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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