Red Flag Warning Remains in Effect For Many Counties - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Red Flag Warning Remains in Effect For Many Counties

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Fire danger is very high right now because of the wind. But even without it, fire officials say the dry conditions are at a level now that they normally don't see until August.


The Caughlin Fire ripped through multiple Reno neighborhoods about two-and-a-half years ago. Driven quickly by the wind. And it's the wind that's had firefighters on alert, this week. "People need to be aware of the high winds, the dry conditions, the multiple years of drought now, that we've experienced," says Division Chief Tim O'Brien of the Reno Fire Department.

With conditions ripe for a wildfire -- people need to be aware of dry brush, and be careful while offroading in grass or brush. And while target shooting is something many people like to do, now is a bad time to fire a gun. "They may not be aware that their backstop could cause a spark."

There is plenty of fuel -- ripe for a fire so people are urged to avoid open flames. "No campfires, be careful with their barbecues. If they're using charcoal, how they dispose of the coals. Make sure they're in a metal container."

Local fire departments also adjust their operations during red flag warnings. "We'll analyze our staffing and make sure that if we need to increase our staffing during the red flag warning periods, that we go ahead and do that."

Station 7 is browned out meaning it's closed sometimes. The Skyline station is operating this week because of call volumes and area's vulnerability. "During a red flag warning, we'll go ahead and assume that regardless of that, we'll hire the people back, necessary to keep the station open."

If you see a fire start firefighters say call 911, immediately because time and distance are critical. "A fire can grow much, much faster than you could ever anticipate. What you think is a very small fire, now, in a matter of seconds can become very, very big."

Power lines can also be a fire threat during high winds. When those fires happen, the fire department works with the power company to keep people out of the area until the fire is out.

Written by Paul Nelson

Windy and dry conditions are expected through Friday. Red Flag warnings are in effect through tonight and into Friday.
*    Thursday evening -  Red Flag Warnings remain in effect. Wind gusts 40 to 45 mph continue for the Eastern Sierra, Northeastern California and Western Nevada. Areas of blowing dust for western Nevada.
*     Overnight tonight - Red Flag Warnings remain in effect for the Tahoe Basin and Western Nevada Sierra Front.
*     Friday - Windy and dry conditions expected again. Red Flag Warnings are in effect for Friday for Tahoe Basin, Mono County, and western Nevada south of Interstate 80.

(The U.S. Forest Service contributed to this report.)

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