The current period of warm spring temperatures and low humidity have created conditions that are “ideal” for brush fires, according to a release from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
Now in the third day of its red flag warning, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued the warning so firefighters and management agencies could be on the lookout for wildfires and brush fires. The NWS describes “red flag” conditions as having “explosive fire growth potential.”
“With spring now upon us, warm weather brings dry vegetation that can result in brush fires that burn and spread quickly,” according to Fire Chief John R. Ray. “Citizens are asked to use caution and take the appropriate steps to avoid accidentally starting such fires.”
In the release, Ray said brush fires are rarely attributed to natural causes and that residents need to be extra careful due to the current fire-friendly climate.
Annapolis residents may recall the "heavy smoke smell" in the air last summer from a brush fire in Virginia in August.
The fire department released a list of precautions to help prevent brush fires:
- Limit the use of flammable plants in landscape designs.
- Limit the use of plants that develop a dry or dead undergrowth.
- Conduct regular maintenance of your property to reduce the opportunity of a brush fire.
- Remove tree limbs around chimneys.
- Keep the roof clear of dry leaves, needles and dead branches. Keep gutters clean.
- Properly dispose of trash and debris.
- Remove dead and accumulated vegetation and dispose of it properly.
- Limit ladder fuels (plants that provide a link between the ground and your house).
- Stack firewood away from structures.
- Refrain from open burning or the use of outdoor fireplaces.
- Store and use flammable liquids properly.
- ALWAYS dispose of cigarettes and matches carefully.
- Teach children about fire safety—keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
- Make sure fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly display your address.