About Fire Warnings

National Weather Service Page for Jackson KY

A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire ignition and propagation.

If there is a drought, conditions may indicate that a fire weather watch is issued. This means current and developing conditions (wind, humidity and fuel moisture) may turn into dangerous fire weather.

This has the potential to turn into a RED FLAG WARNING, which means current conditions (wind, humidity and fuel moisture) have created extreme fire behavior conditions that could result in a rapid increase in wildfire activity.

Because these conditions can occur very quickly and for a specific area, they are not posted on this website. However, you might hear them on a weather forecast on radio or TV. These warnings might help you decide to postpone a debris burning or campfire until a safer time. You can also check the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Jackson KY for current information.

Below is the criteria used for watches and warnings.

Fire Weather Watch

Fire Weather Watch
Whenever a geographical area has been in a dry spell for a week or two, or for a shorter period, if before spring green-up or after fall color, and the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) is high to extreme and the following forecast weather parameters within the next 48 hours are:

  • a sustained wind average 15 mph or greater,
  • relative humidity less than or equal to 25%, and
  • 10 hour fuel moisture less than 8%

During a fire weather watch, forest users may be required to keep campfires within established Forest Service fire rings at developed campsites, since there would be increased potential for an escaped campfire to start a wildfire. You may want to consider alternatives to a campfire.

Consider burning debris on another day, when the humidity is higher and wind is slower.

Red Flag Warning

Red Flag WarningA term used by fire-weather forecasters to call attention to limited weather conditions of particular importance that may result in extreme burning conditions. It is issued when it is an on-going event or the fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag criteria will occur within 24 hours of issuance.

Red Flag criteria occurs whenever a geographical area has been in a dry spell for a week or two, or for a shorter period, if before spring green-up or after fall color, and the NFDRS is high to extreme and the following forecast weather parameters are forecasted to met:

  • A sustained wind average 15 mph or greater.
  • Relative humidity less than or equal to 25%, and
  • 10 hour fuel moisture less than 8%

During a red flag warning, forest users are strongly urged to consider alternatives to a campfire. Because of the warning's short duration, there won't be time to issue a campfire or burning ban.

Never burn debris when a red flag warning is in effect. It can so easily get out of control, and you can be held liable for suppression costs.