(KTXL) — Fire stations across Northern California are flying red flags to indicate that the risk of a fire starting is at an extreme high, but besides the warning what should the response be from the public about these flags and how is it determined when to fly them?
According to CAL FIRE, Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches are issued by the National Weather Service to notify fire departments of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to increased wildfire activity.
A Red Flag Warning is the highest degree of warning for potential fire danger and a Fire Weather Watch exists in the first 12 to 72 hours of possible extreme weather conditions, according to CAL FIRE.
The trigger weather conditions can be a combination of low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels the possibility of dry lightning strikes.
As a response to the warnings CAL FIRE will increase the amount of on-duty firefighters and staff more engines for 24 hours to have them ready to respond to any new fires, according to CAL FIRE.
Residents can do their part by not mowing their lawns on windy days or on dry grass and clearing off roofs and gutters of any twigs, leaves and other types of dry vegetation, according to CAL FIRE.
CAL FIRE’s ‘One less spark‘ campaign is aimed at reducing the possibility of human-caused fires, as 95% of all wildfires in California are started by human activity, according to CAL FIRE.
A toolkit has been provided by CAL FIRE to help educate the public on the possible dangers of fires caused by lawnmower sparks, cookouts, hitch chain sparks, controlled burns and bullet sparks.
“It is absolutely critical that residents and citizens here know the importance of being prepared and being able to take action,” CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer/Placer County Fire Chief Brian Estes said.