New Canaan Fire Marshal: Red Flag Warnings—Increased Fire Risk


New Canaan Fire Department vehicle. Credit: Michael Dinan

A “Red Flag Warning,” issued by the National Weather Service, means warm temperatures, very low humidity and strong winds are expected. Combined, these produce an increased risk of fire danger.

Fire Marshal Paul Payne. Credit: Michael Dinan

Wildfires are any unplanned fires that burn in forests and other wild lands such as shrubs or grass communities. They are a powerful force we must understand and respect in order to best help control them. Nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by humans and could have been prevented. 

This video shows a fire on the westbound shoulder of Route I-84 between exit 6 and 7. The fire was most likely caused by a lit cigarette thrown out of a car window. Due to the wind and the dry conditions the risk of fires is increased.

New Canaan has seen its share of brush fires in recent memory. In an average year approximately 500 acres of Connecticut woodland are burned by forest fires. It is important to recognize the factors that contribute to high risk of wild fires.

The State of Connecticut updates the risk of forest fires daily, the report can be found here. If you spot a forest fire, remain calm, go to the nearest telephone and dial 911 to report the fire as quickly as possible. Tell the emergency dispatcher when you saw it and where you saw it. If you see anything suspicious at or near the scene of the fire, take note and relay the information to 911 as well. Stay on the call until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.

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