Red Flags Issued For Pacific Northwest

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The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for a large portion of the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest region due to unstable conditions combined with wind and low relative humidity.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. These warnings are issued when specific criteria are met to create prime conditions for fast fire spread if a fire were to ignite.

The red flag warnings are in effect for extremely hot, dry, unstable weather west of the Cascade crest, said Ian Rickert, regional fire planner for the Pacific Northwest region of the Forest Service.

“The challenging fire weather conditions coincide with areas that are experiencing abnormally dry to severe drought,” he said. “Several measures of fire danger show we are approaching new record highs on the west slope of the cascades and in the coast range.

Together, the weather and fuel conditions create a situation that lends itself to extreme fire behavior.”

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The Pacific Northwest has seen a significant increase in human-caused wildfires compared to previous years.