On days when it is dry and breezy, wildfires can pop up and spread easily in areas that are heavily forested. In fact, the risk of wildfires greatly increased during the second week of May 2022 in the Twin Tiers because of low humidity and clear skies. To know how dangerous wildfire spread can be in your area, it is important to know the different types of fire-related weather alerts that can be issued.

A red flag warning is a common alert issued by the National Weather Service when wildfire danger is imminent. The National Weather Service issues this warning, in conjunction with land management agencies, to alert land managers of an ongoing or potential fire pattern.

A fire weather watch alerts land managers and the public that upcoming weather conditions could result in extensive wildland fire occurrence or extreme fire behavior. In other words, critical fire conditions are possible, but they are not imminent or occurring.

An extreme fire behavior alert implies that a wildfire is likely to rage out of control. It is often hard to predict these types of fires because they behave randomly and dangerously. These types of fires must spread at a fast rate, cover a large area, have multiple fire whirls, and cause significant rising air columns.

If a dangerous wildfire threat were to occur in your area, be sure to look at the forecast and prepare ahead of time. Use fire-resistant material around your home and put together a basic emergency supply kit. Also, be sure to plan escape routes and let everyone else in the household know the plan of action.