Red Flag Warning, Fire Watch; FOX23 breaks down the terminology

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Reported by: Tiffany Alaniz
Updated: 1/25 11:12 pm Published: 1/25 11:10 pm

Fire fighters have battled countless grass fires over the past two weeks.

Oklahoma Forestry Services leaders say residents can help prevent them by paying close attention to the fire weather forecasts.

FOX23 asked a representative from the Oklahoma Forestry Services to break down the terminology.

A fire in a Skiatook field burned 20 acres last weekend.

An Oklahoma forestry leaders say knowing the difference between a fire weather watch and a red flag warning can save lives.

Drew Daily is on a mission. 

As a fire staff forester for the Oklahoma forestry services, he wants to educate you this fire season.

He says the most important is knowledge about fire weather watches and red flag warnings,"both of those are based on weather conditions and fuels here in Oklahoma to determine how we may look at weather. 
They are very similar to what we use for severe weather forecasting,” said Daily.

He also said with as many fires we've seen over the past few weeks, he's asking residents to treat the fire watches and warnings like you would severe weather..
"So fire weather watch is just that it is predicted and forecast that we will be under fire weather conditions, whereas a red flag warning indicates that the fire weather conditions and fuel conditions are met and that the situation is upon us," Daily said.

He explained the decision to issue a red flag warning is a joint effort between the national weather service, Oklahoma forestry service and several other agencies. 

  Grass fire after grass fire in the last two weeks, Daily told FOX23 the dry, windy, and warm conditions haven't helped.

“That just creates a recipe for potentially quick fire growth, Daily explained.

He said the fire danger will remain at elevated levels in the near future, and advised residents to be safe. "People need to remain vigilant and remain with that elevated sense of caution when using fire outdoors,” Daily said.

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