Things have been very windy around the state, with Red Flag Warnings being a near-common occurrence. What does it mean for you? These warnings come from the National Weather Service and seem not as common as, say, a Severe Thunderstorm or Winter Storm Warning. So what exactly is a 'red flag' when it comes to weather, we'll explain.

Red Flag blowing in the wind on a lakeshore.
Photo by Karan Singh on Unsplash

What Is A Red Flag Warning?

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a red flag warning means "warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger." 

What This Means

When the wind is strong like this and the grass is either dead or hasn't reached a green lively summer state, it poses a fire risk due to the wind's potential to spread any uncontained flames. You are encouraged not to burn anything on these days.

The NWS says when there is a Red Flag Warning, you should not do any of the following:

  • If you are permitted to burn something, all burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover.
  • Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. 
  • Extinguish all outdoor fires properly by dousing flames with water and ensuring the embers will not reignite by stirring them around until it is cold.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

Basically, if there is a Red Flag Warning, you should avoid creating fire in any way. It only takes one spark to cause a wildfire. This may be a hot take, but it's best to avoid those if possible.

Grand Rapids Fire Department In the Community

Gallery Credit: Andy Rent

The Meaning Behind Fire Hydrant Colors...Well, Generally Speaking

Have you ever wondered why certain Boise fire hydrants are solid red and others have yellow caps? We did! And finding a straight answer wasn't easy!

Scroll on for the National Fire Sprinkler Association's designated classification and rated flow for light blue, green, orange, and red fire hydrants.

Black, silver, yellow, and purple fire hydrants aren't codified by NFSA, but after some digging around, we found the meaning behind the unique colors!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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