High fire danger in Cobb County due to dry conditions and gusty winds

A drawing of a flame with the small Cobb County Courier logo in the lower left-hand corner

by Larry Felton Johnson

The National Weather Service issued a high fire danger alert for Cobb County and other counties in the region for Wednesday November 8 due to dry conditions and gusty winds

What is in the statement?

The statement gives the following details:

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for portions of North and Central Georgia.

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.DAY ONE…Today and Tonight…

A Fire Danger Statement is in effect through this evening for

portions of north Georgia due to gusty afternoon winds combined

with ongoing dry conditions. Please refer to your local burn

permitting authorities whether you may burn outdoors. Several

counties have ongoing burn bans. If you do burn outside, use

extreme caution.

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:

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

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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