Wildfire Season Series Part 1: Red Flag Warning vs. Fire Weather Watch
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Last Monday, May 17, 2021, City of Santa Rosa emergency officials including Santa Rosa Fire Department announced that Wildfire Season starts today. You might be wondering what this means.
Wildfire Season starts following several consecutive days of Red Flag Warning conditions with recent local hot and dry weather. That kind of hot and dry weather also alerts fire officials to the increased risk for fire due to the weather conditions. The season comes significantly earlier than normal due to severe drought conditions locally, and throughout the state.
There is a difference between Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch.
Red Flag Warning
Red Flag Warnings are issued for ongoing or imminent weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.
A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert.
During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.
Fire Weather Watch
A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours.
A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a red flag warning, but fire danger is still high.
A watch means critical fire weather conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.
Make sure you set up and subscribe to emergency alert apps on your phone. Have your emergency go bags ready. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
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