Brush Fire Season Begins in the East

By , Senior Meteorologist
April 5, 2013; 5:02 AM ET
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Most people don't think of spring as being a high-risk time of the year for brush fires, but April and May sometimes bring the perfect conditions.

The early spring offers plenty of fuel for brush fires: dormant grass, fallen leaves and dry brush.

The weather during the middle of the week may have been chilly, but very low humidity and strong sunshine warms and dries out the fuel.

Locally gusty winds, even those caused by passing vehicles at highway speed can quickly turn a smoldering area into a major brush fire and cause that fire to spread rapidly. ( image and thumbnail)

There is an elevated risk of brush fires from Virginia to southern New England as most of this area is free of snow cover, green-up is slow in some areas and the brush has become dry.

Cold Rain to Brush Coastal Northeast Thursday Night, Friday
Warm versus Cold Next Week in the Northeast

Be very careful using outdoor power equipment in these conditions.

Do not toss burning cigarettes out of your car.

Avoid parking vehicles on dry, grassy areas as the hot exhaust can ignite the brush underneath.

A storm system will bring higher humidity and even some rain to part of the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England Thursday night into Friday, which will lower the risk.

However, over the weekend, rising temperatures and some sunshine will raise the risk especially in areas, where there is no snow on the ground and the rainfall managed to stay away recently.


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