By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Much of southeastern Wyoming is under a red flag warning for fire danger until late Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Cheyenne.
The affected area stretches from Baggs all the way east past Cheyenne and into Torrington. It also stretches as far north as Bill and Glenrock.
The Weather Service predicted winds of around 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph.
Meteorologist Don Day noted in his Friday forecast that Wyoming was in for warm and dry weather, perfect conditions for a red flag warning. Fire dangers will be a concern over the weekend and into next week, he added.
“We have been able to avoid widespread or big fires this fire season so far, knock on wood,” Day said. “But be really careful if you’re going out this weekend or next.”
A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions either are occurring or will shortly. A combination of winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to this type of fire condition. Any fires that start in these conditions can spread rapidly, so outdoor burning should be avoided.
The NWS provided tips on what to do during a red flag warning, which inclulded:
- If you are allowed to burn in your area, all burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover, with holes no larger than 3/4 of an inch;
- Don’t throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. They could ignite dry grass on the side of the road and start a wildfire;
- Extinguish all outdoor fires properly. Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Don’t throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it;
- Never leave a fire unattended, since sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite and fire and quickly spread.