We all know this cute face!
We all know who he is (or most of us do at least) but it's more about the fire danger than Smokey the Bear. It's a good advertising and alert tool to the public, because he's a very memorable character.
The more important message here is VERY HIGH. That is the fire danger on this sign here. This picture and the following ones are courtesy the National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont.
This is a picture taken in 2005 from Eric Evenson in Essex, Vermont. Note the dry, dry grass in the foreground in the picture. When we talk about DRY FUELS, that is it! That very dry ground and vegetation, sometimes enhanced by a very dry streak of weather. But as you saw in my blog yesterday, April and May are the most common months of these wild fires in our area. This time of the year is known as the 'pre-green up' time, when leaves haven't come out yet and we often see low relative humidity days.
This is a great chart to familiarize yourself with. When we get into the peak of fire season, the National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for enhanced fire threats. I believe they only put these out when there is a fire threat 'high, very high, or extreme.' So far this year we have had two Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings, in fact just two in the last two weeks. This year is shaping up to have a higher fire threat than last year. When you go camping, or need to burn brush, or some other activity that could spark a wildfire, please check the list above first. It doesn't take long, many save a web address to your phone or home computer and just quickly check the daily fire threat before burning. That way we can prevent these fires. Just this week in Colorado there has been a huge fire burning thousands of acres, dozens of homes, and unfortunately killing a couple of people. This particular event started from a controlled burn by authorities, but it got out of hand. So this is a nice reminder time for everyone to heed these fire dangers an daily threats.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier