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Red Flag Warning issued for parts of the Cascades, elevated fire potential area-wide

The NWS issued a Special Weather Statement warning of elevated fire risk in much of the Puget Sound region on Tuesday alongside the Red Flag Warning in the Cascades.
Credit: KING

SEATTLE — Conditions will be favorable for fires to start and spread in portions of the Cascades and in much of the Puget Sound region on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Red Flag Warning for the central and south Cascades from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday due to predicted dry and unstable conditions.

Breezy winds are expected, paired with the potential for 20% to 40% humidity. The Haines Index for Tuesday, which indicates the potential for large wildfires to experience extreme fire behavior, is listed at a 6 out of 6.

The NWS also issued a Special Weather Statement indicating elevated fire conditions for the Olympics, the Hood Canal area, Tacoma, Bellevue, Seattle and the east Puget Sound lowlands on Tuesday. This area will also see breezy winds and low humidity, registering a 6 on the Haines Index.

Temperatures are expected to rise and humidity values are expected to remain low on Wednesday, leaving the potential for isolated areas to meet Red Flag Warning criteria, especially for parts of the southern and central Cascades, and areas south and east of the Puget Sound.

An onshore marine push on Wednesday night into Thursday will help with a noticeable increase in humidity, meaning fire weather conditions will become less favorable across the Olympic Peninsula and the lowlands on Thursday, according to the NWS. However, elevated fire concerns may persist in the Cascades into the weekend, including some concerns about lightning-induced fire starts.

Here are tips on how to stay safe during high fire risk:

  • Don't burn anything outdoors when it's hot, windy or when vegetation is dry.
  • Be sure no metal car parts drag on the ground and be careful not to park on dry grass.
  • Always keep a hose nearby when mowing a dry lawn.
  • When grilling, do not grill near dry vegetation and make sure that the charcoal used is cool to the touch before throwing it away.
  • Do not toss cigarette butts - make sure they are fully out and properly disposed of.

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