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May 4, 2015 3:25 PM

Joe Knows: Brush fires more likely across NH this week

NH1 Chief Meteorologist - NH1.com

Red flag warnings are up across a large portion of the state, excluding Southeast New Hampshire.

Warm temperatures in the 80’s, have come with gusty southwest winds and combined with relative humidity as low as 25 percent across interior areas.

These conditions have created explosive fire growth conditions Monday, meaning any fires which develop may spread rapidly and uncontrollably.

Despite the heavy snow this winter, April was a drier month with only about two and a quarter inches of rain. Also, the dry brush currently without vegetation would add fuel to any developing fire.

An elevated fire danger warning is likely to persist across the area this week.

The national weather service advises to avoid outside burning, monitor campfires, make sure any fires are fully extinguished and dispose of cigarettes properly.

One Less Spark - One Less Wildfire: A few helpful reminders and safety tips include from California (they know a thing or two about fires) include:

1. Equipment Use Safety

  • Never mow or trim dry grass on a Red Flag Warning Day. (Mow before 10 a.m. on a day when its not hot and windy).
  • Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
  • Spark arresters are required in wildland areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment.

2. Campfire Safety

  • Before starting a campfire, make sure you have a campfire permit and that they are permitted on the land you are visiting.
  • Afterwards, ensure that your campfire is properly extinguished.

3. Defensible Space

  • Residents should make sure they have 100 feet of defensible space around structures.
  • Clear dead weeds and vegetation.
  • Remove leaves and needles from gutters.
  • Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.

4. Vehicle

  • Never pull over in dry grass.
  • Ensure trailer chains don't drag on the ground.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained.
  • Have proper tire pressure to avoid driving on wheel rim.
  • Never let your brake pads wear too thin.

5. Other

  • Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
  • Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when it's windy or areas where not allowed.
  • Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets.
  • Report any suspicious activities to prevent arson.


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