ST. LOUIS- A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the St. Louis metro area and surrounding counties due to an enhanced fire risk across the bi-state. This means there are critical fire weather conditions that would allow for quick spreading wildfires, due to a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels.
Today humidity values are low and winds are gusting out of the southwest up to 30-35 mph. With a dry ground and gusty wind, wildfires will have no problem spreading quickly. If you have plans to burn today, reschedule them.
Typically, we think of wildfires out west, but don’t be fooled, wildfires cause major problems in Missouri.
Missouri consists of large forests, like the Mark Twain National Forest, which has seen it’s share of wildfires. That in combination with hot summers, low humidity, and breezy winds makes the area prone to fire concerns.
Most wildfires in Missouri are started and spread by humans. Data from Missouri’s Environmental Statistics show that over a 13-year average, wildfires burned an average of 24,209 acres per year.
We can stop the spread by:
- avoiding burning during high risk times, i.e. too windy or low of humidity
- don’t throw cigarettes out cars or windows
- report unattended fires
- never leave a fire unattended
- when starting a bonfire make sure it is in an appropriate fire pit cleared of all vegetation
- always make sure your fire is completely out before leaving