The National Weather Service in Burlington Vermont would like to announce its open burning weather awareness Campaign for Vermont and northern New York. Spring is upon US and the National Weather Service encourages residents of the north country to be aware of risk factors associated with open burning. As a reminder...the state of New York is not allowing any open burning through may 15th.
The months of April and may are considered the peak fire season in Vermont and northern New York. In Vermont...75 percent of all wildfires in a given year occur in April and may and in New York...54 percent of all wildfires in a given year occur during this time period. Across the north country...about 90 percent of all wildfires burn fewer than 10 acres. The number one cause of wildfires across the north country is burning debris...while weather elements such as lightning account for only about 3 percent of wildfire starts.
Coinciding with the peak fire season in Vermont and New York is the fact that the we are in the pre-Greenup phase. This is when the ground is bare...Brown and dry due to dormant grasses...dead leaves...Needles...and small brush. These materials are fuels that can dry very quickly under full sunlight...warming temperatures...low relative humidities...and wind. If a fire were to start in these conditions...it could quickly spread out of control.
Forest agencies such as the Vermont department of forests...Parks...and recreation and the department of environmental conservation New York state Forest rangers monitor fire danger. Fire danger examines the state of the fuels and weather conditions. These elements determine how easily a fire could start...how fast it would spread...the difficulty it would take to control the fire...and the fires impact. Fire danger can range from the low category indicating fires do not readily start...to the extreme category... which indicates any fire starts would spread quickly and burn intensely.
The National Weather Service in Burlington Vermont issues daily fire weather forecasts for forestry personnel and the general public. When critical fire weather conditions such as low relative humidities...strong winds...and extended periods of little or no precipitation develop in combination with dry fuels...fire weather watches and red flag warnings are issued. These products indicate that property and the safety of the public as well as firefighters could be significantly impacted if a wildfire were to develop.
Anyone with plans to do open burning should always be aware of weather and fuel conditions. Remember...we are now heading into the peak fire season and it is the pre-Greenup time of year when dead and dormant fuels cover the ground and can easily burn when weather conditions dry these materials. Follow instructions from town or County Forest fire wardens regarding open burning. Pay attention to weather and fuel conditions that describe fire danger...as these elements change quickly this time of year. Monitor fire weather products from the National Weather Service in Burlington...which are specifically designed to keep you informed of weather conditions which could lead to the development of dangerous fire situations. Visit our fire weather Page at www.Weather.Gov/btv/firewx.