12 April 2023
This morning’s weather forecast includes an unusual warning. There’s a Fire Weather Watch in Pittsburgh today from 11am to 8pm. The relative humidity is low (25-30%), the winds will be gusty (up to 25 mph) and it’ll be hot (almost 80ºF!).
Spring is fire season in Pennsylvania when 85% of our wildfires occur. As the growing season begins, forests and fields are covered in dry leaves and grasses. Under the right weather conditions a cigarette tossed from a car or a trash burn will catch and spread quickly.
That’s probably how this distant wildfire started in Fayette County in March 2011 (photo by Jon Dawson).
Pennsylvania DNCR publishes a daily county-by-county Fire Danger map which shows Allegheny County at elevated risk this morning. The highest risks are in north central PA. (Watch out DuBois and State College!) and in the drought areas in southeastern PA.
So be careful today. Don’t burn trash, don’t drop a burning cigarette on the ground, and if you see a brush fire call the fire department!
Be safe during Pennsylvania Fire Season.