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DEEP and Bethel FD Issue ‘Red Flag’ Warning of ‘Very High’ Fire Danger in CT

Report by Paula Antolini, April 5, 2021, 4:03PM EDT

The Forest Fire Danger Level for Monday, April 05, 2021 is VERY HIGH.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Forest Fire Control Office has issued a ‘RED FLAG WARNING’ of fire danger, in the Daily Forest Fire Danger Report for Connecticut. Read more here about Forest Fire Weather Information.

Bethel’s Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Company stated: “The fire danger in CT is VERY HIGH today. Absolutely NO outdoor burning is permitted. This includes brush burning approved by the Bethel Fire Marshals Office and recreational camp fires.”

A Red Flag warning is a warning to the fire fighting community that if there is a fire, the weather conditions can be expected to cause erratic fire behavior. Red Flag warnings are not a fire danger rating and they are not synonymous with High, Very High or Extreme fire danger. Red Flag warnings are issued when winds will be sustained or there will be frequent gusts above a certain threshold (normally 25 mph). In addition, relative humidity needs to be below 30% and precipitation for the previous 5 days has to have been less than 1/4-inch.

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The DEEP’s Forest Fire Control Office urges all who enjoy the use of Connecticut’s parks, forests and open spaces, to use fires with caution and practice forest fire prevention tips especially during forest fire season. People need to obey local laws regarding open firescarefully dispose of hot charcoal , and completely extinguish smoking materials.

Smokey BearAs Smokey Bear says “Only you can prevent wildfires!”

Connecticut traditionally experiences high forest fire danger in the Spring from mid-March through May.  DEEP’s Division of Forestry constantly monitors the danger of forest fire to help protect Connecticut’s 1.8 million acres of forested land. Throughout the Spring forest fire season, DEEP sends daily advisories on forest fire danger levels to DEEP’s state park forest field staff, municipalities, fire departments and the media. Forest fire danger levels are classified at low, moderate, high, very high or extreme. In an average year approximately 500 acres of Connecticut woodland are burned by forest fires.

If you have received a permit from your local Open Burning Official to burn brush on your property, the permit is not valid if the Forest Fire Danger is rated high, very high or extreme and you are burning within 100 feet of a grassland or woodland.

If you spot a forest fire, remain calm, go to the nearest telephone and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible to your local fire department. Calmly tell the emergency dispatcher when you saw it and where you saw it. Stay on the telephone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.

To get updates on the fire danger, please call 860-424-3929.

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