Red Flag Warning in Effect This Afternoon
Posted at 10:40 a.m.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect from noon until 8 p.m. today for Fairfax County as well as most of the National Capital Region.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels will create explosive fire growth potential.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for relative humidity of 20-25 percent; Northwest winds 15-20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph; and fuel moisture between 5-8 percent. The combination of gusty winds and dry fuels will promote the rapid spread of any uncontrolled fires.
And as a reminder, the statewide 4 p.m. Burning Law, which went into effect Feb. 15, prohibits burning before 4 p.m. each day (Feb. 15 - April 30) if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
Red Flag Warning
Red Flag Warnings are issued by National Weather Service fire weather forecasters to alert forecast users to an ongoing or imminent critical fire weather pattern. The warning product alerts land management agencies to the potential for widespread new ignitions or control problems with existing fires, both of which could pose a threat to life and property. It is issued when it is an on-going event or the fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag criteria will occur within 48 hours of issuance.
Red Flag criteria is based on local area vegetation characteristics, local climatology, select weather criteria and/or any combination of critical weather and fuel moisture forecasts. In some states, dry lightning and unstable air are criteria.
Learn about wildfires from Ready.gov.