Hotter temperatures set red flag warning

TRI-CITIES, WA - Hot weather is coming, and with it, a Red Flag Warning set across the region on Thursday. 

The National Weather Service announced the Red Flag Warning from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday for the Columbia Basin area. 

Pasco Fire official, Ben Shearer, said the hot temperatures and winds expected could easily trigger a big fire. 

"The fuels are already drying up... It just takes one little spark and the right fuel condition, the right wind condition, and that fire is going to be running very quickly, "Shearer said. 

According to the National Weather Service, strong winds, low relative humidity and hot temperatures are the perfect setup for wildfires. 

"Here in the Tri-Cities the wind is almost always blowing, so when we have  those Red Flag Warnings happening that means we are really going to get some hot wind blowing and have some extreme fire behavior if it pops up," Shearer said. 

He recommends in the warning to be careful with things like barbecuing, mowing your lawn, disposing of smoking materials safely, and being careful with campfires.

Last week, the 243 Fire in Grant County scorched more than 20,000 acres and took firefighters from all over the state to put out. Shearer served as the public information officer for the fire and said that it was a good refresher for his crews. 

"It got everyone kicked off and ready to go for the season," Shearer said. 

Shearer said the biggest problem crews had with the 243 Fire was letting people who live nearby know what was going on. He says the easiest way to get that information is to download the Code Red App which sends fire alerts straight to your phone. 

"People complain, 'I didn't know the fire was in my area,' but the resources are there and they are available to you," Shearer said. 

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