Red Flag Warnings and Preventing Them

By the Chief

As the temperature is rising and getting nicer every day, more people are going out and participating in outdoor activities to enjoy the great weather. Allamuchy as well as most of New Jersey has been under a Red Flag Warning for a week now. While outside it is important to look for fire dangers and to also know a little bit about this type of warning.

A Red Flag Warning is also known as a Fire Weather Warning, it is a forecast warning issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wild land fire ignition and rapid spread. To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours.

Wild fires like when there is relatively low humidity, dry ground conditions, as well as sporadic and strong winds. These conditions lead to a higher risk of wildfires and make them very hard to control. Any source of ignition can spark a forest fire such as a cigarette bud or a match. It is important to remember that campfires or open burns are not permitted during these times, a fire that is left for even a minute can result in an uncontrollable forest fire.

In one day the Allamuchy Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to two brush fires, one was quickly extinguished while the other one burnt up a large area of wood lands. The next time you are outside remember that these fires are very dangerous so make responsible decisions and remember what Smokey the Bear says, “Only you can prevent wildfires!”

The Allamuchy Township Volunteer Fire Department would like to present you with some safety tips on preventing brush/forest fires.

  • Dispose of smoking materials in an appropriate container.
  • Do not burn brush or trash without appropriate approval.
  • Be extremely careful when using outside grills.
  • Workers that use power tools generating sparks need to be mindful.
  • Keep lighters and matches away from children.
  • Never throw cigarette butts out of your vehicle window.
  • If your car has a catalytic converter, keep off of dry grass when parking.
  • Report any suspicious or out of place persons that might be starting fires.
  • Remove leaves and rubbish from under and around your structure.
  • Remove all dead branches from trees.
  • Prune any branches or shrubs within 15 feet of stovepipes and chimney outlets.
  • Remove vines from walls of your home.
  • Stack firewood 10 feet from your home.
  • Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans.

Everyone can prevent brush/forest fires. If you spot a brush fire or suspicious activity, please call 911 immediately.

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