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Red Flag Warnings Issued for Southern New England; Brush Fires Have Broken Out Already

Continued dry conditions, gusty winds and low humidity is making for critical fire weather across southern New England. A red flag warning is in effect for all of southern New England for Tuesday and Wednesday, with the highest risk of fires spreading taking place from late morning to early evening both days. It has already been an extremely busy brush fire season for the region.

Massachusetts has seen a large handful of brush fires so far this spring. Last month, a rather large (for New England) wildfire broke out in the Pisgah Conservation Area in Northborough. More recently, a large brush fire broke out in the Lynn Woods in Lynn, this fire has been burning for about a week and, according to Lynn's fire chief, will likely continue burning for at least a few more days.

This past Friday, this fire encroached on about 20 homes. Residents used garden hoses to spray down the advancing flames. The fire encroached on homes again Saturday, but firefighters were able to get into a position to protect those homes. A helicopter has been seen dropping buckets of water onto the fire.

Lynn brush fire (Photo: WCVB)

A brush fire broke out in Framingham yesterday. The fire department stated that this fire "may" have extended to a structure. This structure sustained significant damage. There have also been recent brush fires reported in Attleboro (on Sunday), Lowell (on Monday) and Saugus (on Tuesday)

Three separate brush fires broke out over the weekend in Nashua, New Hampshire at Mine Falls Park. Firefighters were able to control the blazes within hours. A wild fire broke out in Winter Harbor, Maine on Saturday. Multiple fires occurred in Libson, Maine this past Thursday. A camp fire turned into a brush fire over the weekend in Raymond, Maine.

In mid-April, a large brush fire forced some evacuations in Exeter, Rhode Island. Smoke from this fire was picked up on weather radar. This was likely the largest wild fire in the state since 1942. The forest is already showing signs of recovery as of mid-May.

Exeter, RI wild fire April 2023. Photo: Nicholas Clavette via Chime In.

Unfortunately, favorable conditions for wild fires to quickly spread will continue for the next couple days in southern New England. Winds will gust up to 40mph with sustained winds of 15 to 25mph. Relative humidity will be 20% or less. Fires can quickly spread out of control from any ignition under these conditions.

Spring is when New England is most susceptible to wild fires as melting snow reveals piles of dead brush and sticks from the winter. Once the snow completely melts, the strong sun angle dries out this brush, making it highly susceptible to catching and spreading fire. This spring has already been a very busy brush fire season across New England and it doesn't look to be slowing down quite yet.



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