High fire danger in Cobb County, Sunday June 19

forest wildfirePhotos by Nicholas Peters, Engine Captain, E-641 at the #CrowMountain wildfire licensed CC BY 3.0

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement that warns of high danger of fire in Cobb County and other Georgia counties on Juneteenth (Sunday June 19) due to low relative humidity and dry fuel conditions.

What is in the statement?

The statement gives the following details:

…HIGH FIRE DANGER CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING FOR

PORTIONS OF NORTHWEST, EAST CENTRAL, AND EAST GEORGIA DUE TO LOW

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RELATIVE HUMIDITIES…

Relative Humidities of 25 percent or less can be expected for 4

or more hours this afternoon and early evening. Winds will be east

at 5 to 15 MPH. With dry fuels, high fire danger conditions can

be expected.

Why does low relative humidity increase the danger of fire?

The National Park Service published the following explanation of why low relative humidity increases the danger of fires:

Relative humidity is important because dead forest fuels and the air are always exchanging moisture. Low humidity takes moisture from the fuels, and fuels in turn, take moisture from the air when the humidity is high. Light fuels, such as grass and pine needles, gain and lose moisture quickly with changes in relative humidity. When the RH drops, fire behavior increases because these fine fuels become drier. Heavy fuels, on the other hand, respond to humidity changes more slowly. To see significant changes in heavy fuel moisture, there must be significant moisture, usually from more than a single storm.

What counties are affected?

The following counties are included in the hazardous weather outlook:

Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Chattooga, Gordon, Floyd, Bartow, Banks, Jackson, Madison, Polk, Paulding, Cobb, North Fulton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Douglas, South Fulton, DeKalb, Rockdale, Walton, Newton, Morgan, Greene, Taliaferro, Fayette, Clayton, Spalding, Henry, Butts, Jasper, Putnam, Hancock, Warren, Lamar, Monroe, Jones, Baldwin, Washington, Glascock, Jefferson, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Johnson, Emanuel, Bleckley, Laurens, Treutlen


How long does the danger last?

The statement covers Sunday afternoon and evening.

What precautions should be taken?

The National Weather Service recommends extreme caution if you do outdoor burning during high fire danger conditions, and that you check your local fire ordinances.

>> To read a summary of Cobb County’s fire ordinances follow this link

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.

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