Last Updated: 03/20/2019

Fire Weather

  It's that time of year again. The weather is warming up/cooling down. Everyone's cleaning up yards as we go into Spring/Fall. Everyone wants to get rid of all the leaves, branchs, etc. that accumlated during the winter/fall. The easiest, and most fun, way to do this is to burn the debris!

While it's fun there are several things you need to consider to make this a safe venture!

  Here are some sites for fire weather, and below is the criteria for a Red Flag Warning. If conditions are sunny and warm, with humidity below 30% and there are some winds, there is a chance for brush fires. Winds usually increase as the day goes on so consider burning in the morning when the dew point is still high, dew is on the grass, and the winds are light.

Wildland Fire Assement System {Link not working}

Philly NWS: Fire Weather {Link not working}

PA DCNR Forest Fire Protection

PA DCNR Forest Fire Protection Wildfire Advisories

Wildfire Danger across US by US Forest Service Wildfire Fire Assessment System MAP

{This map linked to from PA DCNR link above}


Red Flag Warning

     A 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 National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) is high to extreme and the following forecast weather parameters are forecasted to be met:

     1) a sustained wind average 15 mph or greater

     2) relative humidity less than or equal to 25 percent and

     3) a temperature of greater than 75 degrees F.

In some states, dry lightning and unstable air are criteria. A Fire Weather Watch may be issued prior to the Red Flag Warning. Haines Index

Haines Index - NOAA

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration



Brush Burning

While MOST of the townships around here do NOT have written rules for burning there are some things to consider and do!

You should check with your township BEFORE burning!

Do NOT burn after dark!

DO stay where you can see the fire!

Do NOT burn rubber, oil, plastic, etc. Only brush, leaves, etc.!

DO keep a rake nearby to push and pull burning material back into the burn pile!

Do NOT make a smoky fire that blows into your neighbors yard!

(Get the fire burning hot BEFORE you dump a lot on it. If it starts smoking, wait until it gets going again.)

DO have a charged line ready! (Make sure you have a hose ready and the water is on and nozzle working)

(It's too late to find the hose, connect it, turn it on, and get to the burn pile AFTER the fire has started to spread!)

Do NOT burn on a windy day!

(It will blow smoke into your neighbors yards AND there is a danger of it spreading!)

DO call the Chester County Fire Board, if you live in chester County otherwise find your countys Fire Board number, (610)436-4700 (new number as of 2010), BEFORE you start and AFTER you finish burning.

(This is so the fire company {hopefully} won't be called out in full force to extinguish your fire!)