What is all this talk about a ‘red flag’ warning?

Red Flag Warning for Most of Eastern Washington
Red Flag Warning for Most of Eastern Washington

Most of Eastern Washington is currently under a ‘red flag’ warning. This means our weather conditions are very dry, with low humidity, and high, erratic winds. KING 5 meteorologist, Rich Marriot, explains red flag warnings from last year when Western Washington was under red flag warning.

As wildfire season progresses, the National Weather Service keeps DNR and other agencies that fight wildfire informed of upcoming weather conditions. This information helps us alert our staff and put into position resources such as aircraft, trucks and other fire-fighting equipment.

Each morning during wildfire season, DNR fire protection managers take part in a regional National Weather Service conference call to discuss where the focus should be for that day’s fire protection needs. This conference call is a collaboration of state employees, fire chiefs, and weather advisory personnel working together to keep this beautiful state green.

Here is some lingo that may be helpful when it comes to fire season. According to NOAA and the National Weather Association:

  • A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are in the forecast to occur. Fire weather watches may lead to red flag warnings.
  • A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will be shortly. These critical conditions are a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures.

Keep in mind that safety is always important; check out these videos and websites to stay informed and up-to-date.