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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NWS - “enhanced threat for wildfires this afternoon and early evening…”


MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

What a beautiful day!!!  Low humidity with a warm breeze and no rain, sounds like a great day, however, it’s the type of day that firefighters know could be busy with brush fires.  The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a statement describing today's weather also brings an “enhanced threat for wildfires this afternoon and early evening…”

Here is the NWS statement:

...ENHANCED THREAT FOR WILDFIRES THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY
EVENING...

NORTHWEST WINDS AROUND 15 MPH WILL FREQUENTLY GUST BETWEEN 20 AND 25 MPH DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. RELATIVE HUMIDITIES ARE EXPECTED TO DECREASE TO AROUND 30 PERCENT THIS AFTERNOON AND FUEL MOISTURE WILL REMAIN LOW DUE TO LITTLE RAINFALL OVER THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS. THE COMBINATION OF GUSTY WINDS... LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES AND LOW FUEL MOISTURE WILL ENHANCE THE THREAT FOR THE
SPREAD OF WILDFIRES THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. WINDS ARE FORECAST TO DIMINISH BY SUNSET.

While everyone should practice good common sense fire safety habits at all times we ask that you pay particular attention when the NWS issues these weather statements. The civilian, career and volunteer members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department ask you to follow these fire safety tips to avoid the possibility of accidentally igniting a fire outside.

• Dispose of smoking materials in an appropriate container and ensure they are completely extinguished. Do not discard these items into any open area as they may start a fire that will spread rapidly. Do not dispose of smoking materials out of your vehicle when traveling

• Business owners and property managers should have appropriate containers that include water in areas where smoking occurs outside so materials can be disposed of safely

• Do not burn brush or trash ever without appropriate approval

• Be extremely careful and pay full-time attention if you will use outside grills or cooking equipment during these times. If you cook outside, ensure you have some type of extinguishing agent nearby (water hose, bucket of sand, fire extinguisher, etc.). Never leave the grill unattended

• If you have fireplace ashes/old charcoal from your grill; you must put them into a sealed metal container placed on a concrete surface away from any structures. If possible - wait to clean your devices until this weather event is over

• Workers using power tools that generate sparks need to mindful that a fire could ignite from those sparks. Wet down brush areas before working

• Use common sense and practice sound fire safety habits

Citizens, visitors and business can help us by keeping safety first and if you see a fire, call 911 immediately.  The sooner we can respond and contain the fire the sooner we can extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading.

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