Red Flag Warning in Cobb County: high fire danger due to high wind and low humidity noon until 8 p.m. Saturday

forest wildfire blazing with upright trees silhouetting the backgroundPhotos by Nicholas Peters, Engine Captain, E-641 at the #CrowMountain wildfire licensed CC BY 3.0

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Cobb County and much of the rest of north Georgia from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday March 26.

What is a red flag warning?

According to the National Weather Service, red flag warning is issued when critical fire weather conditions are either occurring…or will occur within 24 hours.

David Godwin, a fire ecologist and director of the Southern Fire Exchange for the University of Florida wrote in an article first published in The Conversation, and republished in the Cobb County Courier:

You’ll hear the phrase red flag warning used across the country, but the criteria actually vary by geographic location. For north Florida, for example, a red flag warning is triggered when relative humidity is at or below 28%, winds are 15 miles per hour or above, and the fire has met a threshold in the Forest Service’s risk calculations known as energy release component, or ERC.

What does our current Red Flag Warning state?

According to the current red flag warning:


The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a Red Flag Warning for low relative humidities and high winds, which is in effect from noon today to 8 PM EDT this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* Affected Area…North and Central Georgia.

* Timing…This afternoon and evening.

* Winds…Northwest 15 to 20 mph. Frequent gusts between 25 and 30 mph. Some higher winds likely in the northern mountains.

* Relative Humidity…Minimum relative humidities generally in the upper teens to around 20 percent.

* Impacts…Due to low humidity and high winds in addition to the dry fuels, any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.


This warning includes the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring…or will occur within 24 hours.

Please refer to the local burn permitting authorities on whether you may burn outdoors. If you do burn outside…use extreme caution.

Please advise the appropriate officials or fire crews in the field of the Red Flag Warning.

What counties are affected?

The following counties are listed in the warning:

Dade-Walker-Catoosa-Whitfield-Murray-Fannin-Gilmer-Union-Towns- Chattooga-Gordon-Pickens-Dawson-Lumpkin-White-Floyd-Bartow- Cherokee-Forsyth-Hall-Banks-Jackson-Madison-Polk-Paulding-Cobb- North Fulton-Gwinnett-Barrow-Clarke-Oconee-Oglethorpe-Wilkes- Haralson-Carroll-Douglas-South Fulton-DeKalb-Rockdale-Walton- Newton-Morgan-Greene-Taliaferro-Heard-Coweta-Fayette-Clayton- Spalding-Henry-Butts-Jasper-Putnam-Hancock-Warren-Troup- Meriwether-Pike-Upson-Lamar-Monroe-Jones-Baldwin-Washington- Glascock-Jefferson-Harris-Talbot-Taylor-Crawford-Bibb-Twiggs- Wilkinson-Johnson-Emanuel-Muscogee-Chattahoochee-Marion-Schley- Macon-Peach-Houston-Bleckley-Laurens-Treutlen-Stewart-Webster- Sumter-Dooly-Crisp-Pulaski-Wilcox-Dodge-Telfair-Wheeler- Montgomery-Toombs-

About the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NWS describes its role as follows:

The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. These services include Forecasts and Observations, Warnings, Impact-based Decision Support Services, and Education in an effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation. The ultimate goal is to have a society that is prepared for and responds to weather, water and climate events.

Read all the Cobb County Courier climate and weather coverage by following this link.