Elevated risk of fire spread this afternoon

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The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued the following Special Weather Statement for the counties highlighted in white:

…EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS WITH ELEVATED RISK OF FIRE SPREAD THIS AFTERNOON…

Humidity levels have dropped as low as 10 percent over parts of Central New York and Northeast Pennsylvania this afternoon, mainly east of the Finger Lakes. Winds have occasionally gusted around 20 mph, and will continue to do so for a few more hours, especially in the Catskills and Poconos. These conditions, combined with dry field moisture levels will lead to an elevated
risk of fire spread through early this evening.

Conditions will improve on Wednesday, and especially later in the week as moister air returns to the area.

Use caution if handling any potential ignition source, including machinery, cigarettes, and matches. Make sure vehicles and trailers are not dragging any chains, which may cause sparks. Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. If dry grasses and tree litter begin to burn, the fire will have the potential to spread quickly.

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