Fire danger today in eastern Washington: Weather Service posts red flag warning

Red Flag Warning Areas Aug 17 2011


The National Weather Service in Spokane has issued a red flag warning because of dangerous fire conditions expected to develop in several eastern Washington counties, between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. today. Wind and low humidity will raise the chances of dangerous wildfire outbreaks in the eastern slopes and valleys of the Central Cascade Mountains, Simcoe Highlands and Columbia Basin. Communities included in this alert are Wenatchee, Chelan, Waterville, Ephrata, Moses Lake, and Vantage.

A weak but very dry cold weather front expected to cross the region today will produce west winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph in many parts of the lower Columbia Basin. Added into the mix will be relative humidity as low as 12 to 15 percent, and an amply supply of drying fuels, such as grasses and brush. Any grass or brush fires developing this afternoon are likely to spread rapidly.

statewide burn ban is in effect through September 30 on all 12.9 million acres that DNR protects from wildfire — campfires may be allowed but in approved fire pits only. People working in the forests and fields are urged to be extra cautious with machinery and take recommended fire precautions.

If there’s any doubt whether you may have a campfire or not, contact your area’s DNR Region Office, fire district, or fire department to clarify specific regulations in that area.

Learn more about DNR’s wildfire season precaution measures, alerts and information feeds.

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