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Friday, September 25, 2020

UPDATED: Serious fire risk in Charlestown and southern New England

Don’t toss lit cigarettes out your car windows, no open burning

By Will Collette

CFD fighting the fire on Pasquiset Trail
UPDATE: since I published this article earlier this week, DEM and state officials have upgraded the threat of wild fire to extreme due to our worsening drought.

This is from DEM's statement today:

DEM is warning Rhode Islanders of extreme fire danger as the drought that has gripped the state, and now the New England region, continues following months of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures.

With nine fewer inches of rain this year than last causing extremely dry conditions, DEM is urging residents to take precautions when using charcoal grills and matches while outdoors, disposing of cigarettes, cutting the grass with gasoline-powered mowers, and doing many other things we often take for granted.

The National Weather Service has issued an alert warning most of Southern New England to be careful while we face weather conditions that have elevated our fire risk.

We haven’t had rain in many days, long enough for Gov. Gina Raimondo to declare a drought advisory on September 17.  

Lack of rain, dry brush and plant growth, breezy weather and low humidity literally raise red flag concerns for fire fighters and first responders.

On September 20, Charlestown-Richmond Fire, aided by Cross’ Mills and Carolina-Richmond Fire Districts and DEM contained a fire to an acre of brush on Pasquiset Trail. There were no injuries or damage to buildings.

There is no rain in Charlestown’s forecast until Sunday night when there is a 40% “chance of showers.” The forecast also calls for breezes every day.

Here’s today’s warning from the National Weather Service:

The prolonged dry weather across most of southern New England has resulted in very low live and dead fuel moisture. With low relative humidity and gusty winds today, any fires which escape initial containment and become established, could potentially become serious. Consult your local fire warden if planning any outdoor burning on today.

Photos from Charlestown Richmond Fire District Facebook page.

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