Fire danger now threatens where Eastern floods hit

April 08, 2010

Officials in southern New England have issued fire danger warnings for some of the areas put underwater by record flooding just days ago as temperatures topped 90 degrees across the region Wednesday. The temperature hit 92 degrees in Providence, R.I., and Hartford, Conn. The weather service on Wednesday issued a red flag warning, meaning an enhanced danger of brush fires, for much of southern New England. Meteorologist Walter Drag, from the National Weather Service office in Taunton, Mass., explained that the reason for the fire danger just a week after all the heavy rain is that the rain fell mostly on dead brush, which dries out quickly. Leaves and new grass, which have not yet sprouted, hold moisture longer and lessen the fire danger. The low humidity and strong, gusty winds also contributed to the fire danger Wednesday, Drag said. "What seems to be an irony, we just had record rains a week ago, now we're hot and dry, or at least the fine fuels are hot and dry and can easily burn," Drag said. The danger was expected to abate today, with temperatures cooling and humidity rising.

- Baltimore Sun News Services

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