As we head into summer it’s important to be aware of fire warnings that the National Weather Service may post. In New York, fire season runs from March 16th through May 14th. However, there are days all the way through until winter, when weather conditions can create a dangerous situation that can threaten not only woodland but also your home.
When most people hear “forest fire,” they think of the west, where fires are extremely common; however, Long Island also has a lot of wild areas that can, and have, fallen victim to wildfires. In August 1995 the area burned by the Sunrise fire covered 4,500 acres of pine barrens and required fire departments from 10 states to put out.
Dry conditions combined with high temperatures and wind are considered fire weather and may call for a red flag warning. A red flag warning is a weather forecast issued by the National Weather Service to indicate that conditions are ideal for wildfires. This puts the forest service on alert and should be a warning not to use fire pits or other open burn sites.
When the fire danger is high, be careful using your barbecue or any other outdoor fire source as small sparks can create large fires that quickly get out of control. Be sure you take precautions such as making sure the area is clear of brush and other flammable items before lighting your grill to ensure the safety of your family and home.