Critical fire weather conditions exist for portions of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, producing an increased risk of wildfire danger. The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation and has safety steps people should follow.
A Red Flag warning means conditions exist that could lead to fires. Warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds combine to heighten the possibility of wildfires and any fires that start with these conditions can spread quickly and become uncontrollable.
The National Weather Service asks people in these areas to avoid outdoor burning. People should also:
- Avoid burning yard waste or rubbish unless it’s allowed by your municipality.
- Avoid burning anything highly combustible, including paper or fabric soaked in oil or gasoline.
- Cover any burn barrels with a weighted metal cover with holes no larger than ¾ of an inch and follow burn rules in their community.
- 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.
- Don’t park a hot car or other machine in dry grass.
- Don’t allow gasoline or motor oil to spill on grass or other vegetation.
Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or medical supplies. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest wildfire information. Find more information on the Red Cross wildfire safety page.
DOWNLOAD OUR APPS. The free Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid and Pet First Aid apps provide instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.