Why is the brush fire danger high in WMass?

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Once again Thursday brush fires have been reported across western Massachusetts. Lots of sunshine and dry windy conditions all contribute to the high fire danger.

We’ve seen a number of brush fires over the last week or so. Firefighters from a number of communities had to put one out on Mount Tom this past weekend.

A Red Flag Warning was issued for Berkshire County Thursday. This means that conditions are favorable for brush fires and they could get out of control very quickly.

A Red Flag Warning is issued when winds are forecast to be between 15 to 25 mph with stronger gusts, relative humidity is between 15 and 25 percent, and temperatures are in the 50s and 60s.

The Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control spent the day keeping an eye out for fires. They’re up in the Ludlow fire tower trying to spot any fires that might start.

According to Chief Fire Warden Dave Celino, 95 percent of brush fires are caused by people. Permitted burns that get out of control, camp fires, arson, trains and improper disposal of smoking materials can all lead to brush fires.

The wind is also a main cause. “Also today, one of the causes would be power lines and we know there’s been a number of calls around the state where power lines are down typically it’s not an issue until we get these dry fuel conditions like we have today,” said Celino.

The one good thing right now is that even though there is still a lot of dry brush and leaves on the ground the soil is moist and that keeps any fires from burning deep in the ground.

Also, now that the grass is greening up that helps keep brush fires from spreading.

Make sure to follow the 22News Storm Team for the latest weather updates, on-air and on WWLP.com.

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