‘Extreme’ fire risk prompts Red Flag Warning for Northern Lower Michigan: What it means

Fire risk ‘extreme’ or ‘high’ for most of Up North

Red Flag Warning area on May 9, 2022. (WDIV)

A Red Flag Warning is in effect on Monday for all of Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula, with fire risk extending into the Upper Peninsula.

It’s all about fire risk. The Red Flag Warning is in effect for all of northern lower Michigan through 8 p.m. this evening. The combination of very dry air and vegetation, warm temperatures, and gusty winds will lead to dangerous wildfire conditions today.

A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.

Red Flag Warning on May 9, 2022. (NWS Gaylord.)

Some guidelines if you’re in one of the areas:

  • If you are allowed to burn in your area, all burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover, with holes no larger than 3/4 of an inch.
  • Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. They may ignite dry grass on the side of the road and become a wildfire.
  • Extinguish all outdoor fires properly. Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Do not throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite a fire, and quickly spread.

A Red Flag Warning (RFW) is a term that has been used since the 1960s by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) fire weather forecasters to alert forecast users to an ongoing or imminent critical fire weather pattern.

Related: When fire ravaged Michigan’s Thumb region: ‘A demon in the gale’


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.