22 Aug 2014
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Brush Fire Threat Elevated for Area

Low relative humidity over Long Island creating enhanced threat for wildfires and brush fires.

Brush Fire Threat Elevated for Area

The National Weather Service has placed Riverhead Town and all of Long Island in a fire weather watch through Wednesday evening as very dry air and dried vegetation could lead to brush fires.

The cold front that pushed through the northeast on Monday afternoon brought with it extremely dry air with low relative humidity, leading to the area having conditions that could lead to a brush fire outbreak. The National Weather Service called it an "enhanced threat for the spread of wildfires" in its most recent message.

The fire weather watch in effect until Wednesday evening warns against gusty winds, dry air and even drier fine fuels, such as leaves and sticks, which could lead to brush fires across the region.

Current forecasts call for winds of between 15 to 25 mph on Wednesday, gusting as high as 35 mph. The lowest relative humidities and highest winds are also forecast for Wednesday afternoon, leading to an increased threat during that time.

Long Island faced a period of wildfire outbreaks during the spring of 2012, when a dry air mass lasted over the area for a few weeks. Large fires swept across wooded and residential areas on eastern Long Island in Brookhaven Town, including Manorvile, Ridge and parts of Calverton.

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