Dry conditions pose elevated fire risk; here are some activities to avoid


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Another dry and mild stretch of weather has taken over Southern New England. The highlight of the forecast hasn’t been the temperatures or the sunny skies, but rather the gusty northwest winds.

Although the area has seen some rain in recent days, the ground is still very dry overall.

While there isn’t a Red Flag Warning in effect, there’s an increased risk of fires as a result of those conditions.

On Sunday, a brush fire broke out off I-195 in Swansea, followed by another in the same area on Monday.

Here’s a look at where we stand in terms of precipitation through April 4:

So far for this month, we’re about where we should be in terms of rainfall. However, it’s what didn’t occur during the month of March that’s caused the ground to be so dry.

A combination of a dry ground, gusty winds and low humidity can help fuel any fires that form. The elevated risk will continue into Tuesday, but it may be slightly lower due to the winds not being as strong.

When the fire threat is high, there are a few things to avoid like improperly disposing of lit cigarettes and open air burning like campfires and bonfires.

Mowing or trimming grassy areas is also not a good idea during dry and windy conditions since any small spark can ignite a fire which could spread rapidly.

Similarly, cars idling over grassy areas can pose a similar hazard.

If you are intending to start a fire, you’re advised to contact your local fire department to make sure it’s safe to do so.

Connect with 12 News Meteorologist Steven Matregrano on social media:

Facebook – Steven Matregrano WPRI
Twitter – smatregranoWPRI
Instagram – smatregrano

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